Feb 25, 2014

Fur, Feathers & Scales: Netherland Dwarf Rabbit

It's time for another dose of cute.  And what better animal is there to go with my new blog design?

Meet Benjamin!  He is a Netherland Dwarf Rabbit.  He is one of our program animals at my zoo job.  He joined us last year, because his owner developed severe allergies to him and could no longer keep him.  He is about six years old.

Often, many people think that rabbits are lumped in with rodents, but they are in their own group called lagomorphs. One of the differences between rodents and lagomorphs has to do with their teeth.  Most folks know that rodents, like rats and squirrels, have two large front teeth (incisors) on their top and bottom jaws.  Rabbits actually have two pairs of teeth on the top and the bottom.  The second pair sits just behind the first pair of incisors.  Oh, and like rodents, rabbits' teeth do continually grow.

They are herbivores and eat only vegetation.  But rabbits do have a secret.

They eat their own poop.

Rabbits have two types of poop--one is a dry pellet, and the other is a wetter, uh, nugget.  The wetter poo is less digested, so they eat it right away so that it passes through their digestive system again, ensuring maximum nutrient absorption.

The American Rabbit Breeders Association recognizes 48 different breeds of rabbits. The Netherland Dwarf is one of the smallest, weighing up to two and a half pounds.

If you love bunnies, I'm going to leave you with this list of videos for your enjoyment. Maybe your next travel destination?

1 comment: