Mittwoch, 26. Dezember 2012

Animal of the Day (December 26th, 2012) - Oryctolagus curiculus

This time, I don't want to show you a plant but an animal. This animal is a "chinchilla rabbit" a sort of the domestic rabbit. (Oryctolagus curiculus). Yeah, this isn't very spectacular, but this little friend appeared a few weeks ago in my parents' garden and is now a regular visitor since then. It's probably somewhere bushed, but feels apparently also in the field very well.

O. curiculus "chinchilla" - habitus

The domestic rabbit comes from the wild rabbit (Oryctolagus curiculus) and was bred probably over 2000 years ago on the Iberian peninsula by farmers. Since these animals reproduce quickly and in large numbers, they were a cheap source of meat. Later, the rabbit also became a popular pet and many new sorts were created.

O. curiculus - beneath a bush

All domestic rabbits descended from the wild rabbit (Oryctolagus curiculus) which is native in Europe. These are small rodents, which are between 35 and 45 centimeters long and have a yellow-brown fur. The most characteristic feature of the rabbit are of course its long ears, which are about 8 centimeters long. they are usually crepuscular, but can also be seen during the day. Their natural habitat are pastures, meadows and other open fields but they can also be found in parks within cities. They live in underground burrows

O. curiculus - on the search for foot

The sort “chinchilla” was bred 1913 in France for the first time (France is the origin of the modern rabbit breeding). In contrast to the wild rabbit, the fur of the Chinchilla is brighter (blue-gray or ash gray). The reason for this is the shutdown of a gene, which is responsible for the yellow-brown color of the wild rabbit. Later, the sort became popular in England and was also imported to other part of the world like Germany.

O. curiculus - the animal is used to humans
and dares to approach them

Like other rabbits, O. curiculus is a herbivore, which eats clover, grass and other small plants. During the harsh seasons (autuumn & winter), the species also eats roots, buds and bark. Rabbits are social animals and live in pairs or small groups. Individual ranking fights within these groups are possible but normal. Life expectancy is about 7 to 11 years. The gestation period of females is about one month with four to eleven pups per litter

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