The rabbit watch is still on. Duchess has not had her babies yet.
That doe is going to give me a heart attack.
In honor of learning about the rabbit, here are 10 random facts (and my own commentary!) about bunnies:
1. It’s not just a hot dog. Until the 18th century rabbits were called coneys, based on the French cunil, shortened from the Latin cuniculus. “Rabbit” first referred to the young of coneys until eventually the word took over in popularity. Incidentally, this is also the origin of the name Coney Island or Rabbit Island, the beachside amusement park in New York. It is one of the only references to coney that is still used in North America.
2. Stephen King isn’t the only Fang. Rabbits teeth never stop growing. If their jaws are misaligned, the non-matched teeth won’t grind down and can cause major injury, even death.
3. They have blurry indigestion. Rabbits are nearsighted and they cannot vomit. Those are two completely unrelated facts that might save you when you’re on Jeopardy. You’re welcome.
4. Shipwrecked. Hundreds of years ago Phoenician sailors discovered rabbits in Spain. In fact, “Spain” could mean “land of the rabbits.” The Phoenicians loved the little breeders, loaded them on their ships, then stopped at various deserted islands and let them loose in hopes of giving shipwrecked sailors a reliable food source.
5. They’re athletic. The current world record for a rabbit long jump is 3 meters; the current world record for the rabbit high jump is 1 meter… and you know you want to petition ESPN to show that on the 72″ big screen!
6. They’re the original Native Americans. Rabbits and hares commonly found in the United States of America include the cottontail, jackrabbit, snowshoe rabbit and the domestic rabbit. There is a difference between a hare and a rabbit, although they can be crossbred.
7. The Brits like them. In England rabbits have become the third most popular pet (after dogs and cats). This makes sense, because they can be litter box trained and they don’t expect you to be subservient to them à la the feline. However, keep the water bowl filled, a 4-lbs. rabbit will drink the same amount of water as a 20-lbs. dog.
8. They’re cinematic. I watched the movie Harvey once. Harvey, the six-foot-four invisible rabbit companion “pooka” to eccentric man Elwood P. Dowd (played by James Stewart) displayed some thought-provoking behaviors. I still don’t get the movie, however.
9. Big Ears. Rabbits cool themselves using their ears as a ventilation system. Because of this, rabbits born in the summer may have “summer ears” – non-genetic growth that produces big ears.
10. You’re so vain. Rabbits are compulsive groomers and spent the majority of their day in various stages of grooming. They also lose their hair several times a year in a process called “molting.” Mama rabbits develop a huge, goiter-looking lump of fur called a dewlap, which they pull out to line their nest when they have babies.
Now, don’t you feel smarter about the lagomorph? Do you have any rabbit facts to share?