EXHIBIT ANIMALS

Giant Flemish Rabbit

Oryctolagus cuniculus

Status
Not Listed

Range & Habitat
Habitat includes dry areas near sea level with soft, sandy soil for easy burrowing. Brushy fields are preferred for the cover they provide, but forests are also inhabited. The species today exists in the wild on every continent except Asia and Antarctica. Domesticated species are found worldwide.

General Description
This species is the ancestor of all domestic rabbits, about 80 varieties. They vary tremendously in size, fur type, coloration and general appearance.

Reproduction & Growth
Rabbits are well-known for their reproductive capacity. They are capable of reproducing year-round, but most breeding activity takes place in the first half of the year. One reason for the reproductive success of rabbits is induced ovulation, where eggs are only released in response to copulation. Gestation is about 30 days, and the average litter contains 5-6 young. Females experience postpartum estrus and thus may have several litters per year. Newborns (kittens) are naked, blind and helpless. The mother visits the nest for only a few minutes each day to nurse them, but the milk is extremely rich. They are weaned at four weeks, attain sexual maturity at about eight months, and can live to nine years old. Males take no part in the care of the young.

Diet: Herbivore
In the Wild: Grasses, leaves, buds, tree bark and roots.




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