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Bunny Facts: 10 Fascinating Things You May Not Have Known About the Cute Critters

They don't like carrots as much as you think!

Everyone knows bunnies, with their big ears and fuzzy little bodies, are adorable, but did you realize these critters are also quite fascinating? From Peter Rabbit to Bugs Bunny, rabbits have long been the subject of lore and pop cultural fixation, and they’re admired by animal lovers young and old.

While these animals are often associated with Easter, they deserve to be appreciated year-round. Here are some fascinating bunny facts perfect for sharing on Easter Sunday — or any time you feel like celebrating these cute creatures.

1. Rabbits eat more than just carrots

The classic image of a bunny often shows them chomping on a carrot, but in reality the crunchy orange veggies are but a small part of their diet. Rabbits are herbivores, which means they don’t eat meat. They’re meant to mostly eat hay, grass and small amounts of various vegetables. While rabbits can eat carrots, they should not have them too often, as they are high in carbohydrates and may upset a bunny’s tummy.

Black and white rabbit eating carrot pieces
Rabbits can eat carrots, but they’re not as big a part of their diet as you might thinkGetty

2. Rabbits appear in all kinds of mythology

Rabbits have long been associated with cunning and mischief, so it’s no wonder that they’ve hopped their way in to many a mythology. In Asian folklore, there’s a mystical rabbit who lives on the moon and serves as a companion to the moon goddess. According to Mexican legend, 400 rabbits ruled over drunken debauchery, while in Native American mythology, a trickster rabbit is an agent of chaos known for fooling other animals.

Figurines depicting Chinese rabbit gods in Beijing
Figurines depicting Chinese rabbit gods in BeijingGetty

These are but a few of the many cultural depictions of rabbits over the centuries. While rabbit mythology varies greatly from one group to the next, the devious charm and playfulness of these animals remains a constant.

3. There are many different types of rabbits

While we can all easily envision the typical rabbit, it may surprise you to learn that there are dozens of different kinds. These include, but are by no means limited to the Pygmy Rabbit (the smallest variety of rabbit around), the Desert Cottontail (often found in California and Texas), the Swamp Rabbit (who live in swampy areas, unsurprisingly), the Volcano Rabbit (a rare type known for having small ears) and the Flemish Giant Rabbit (known for being the largest rabbit breed in the world).

Flemish Giant Rabbit
A Flemish Giant RabbitGetty

4. Rabbits have panoramic vision

Rabbits are preyed upon in the wild, so being able to quickly spot and run away from predators using a combination of good vision and quick feet is essential. Because their eyes are on the sides of their heads, they have a 360-degree field of vision, which means they can easily see above and behind them. They also blink just a handful of times per hour and sleep with their eyes open to avoid being attacked.

5. Those distinctive ears regulate their temperature

Rabbits are defined by their adorable long ears, which help them hear their predators from miles away, but their ears are good for more than just hearing. Bunny ears also help with temperature regulation. Their ears contain blood vessels that swell when a rabbit gets hot and contract when they get cold, which means that in extra chilly weather, their ears practically disappear!

Multipurpose ears!Getty

6. Rabbits and cats have surprising similarities

If you have a cat, you’ve likely observed their bunny kick when they grab something and start kicking with their back legs, much like a bunny does. The similarities between rabbits and cats don’t end there: Bunnies are also capable of purring when they’re content. Unlike cats, the purr comes from their teeth rubbing together rather than their throats. Another commonality with cats? Rabbits groom themselves constantly.

7. They eat their own droppings

Okay, we’ll admit this isn’t the cutest of the bunny facts on our list, but it is interesting: Rabbits eat their own droppings. The grass and weeds wild rabbits eat, while healthy, aren’t always easy to digest, and once their meals have come out the other end, they still need to consume more nutrients. It’s hard to believe, but this process of eating their waste actually helps them maximize their nutrient intake.

8. Their teeth never stop growing

Bunnies have oversized teeth that add to their cartoonish appearance. These teeth only get bigger with time — they’re elodont, which means they never stop growing. Their teeth serve them well, as chomping down on grass is essential to their diet.

Close up of rabbit's teeth
These teeth will never stop growingGetty

9. They really do breed a lot

You may have heard the saying “breeding like rabbits,” and it’s true that these animals are particularly frisky and prone to reproduction. In fact, one female rabbit can give birth to up to 60 babies in a year. That’s a lot of little bunnies hopping around!

Group of rabbits
Rabbits multiply quickly!Getty

The fact that rabbits are associated with birth and fresh starts is also thought to be part of their Easter connection.

10. Rabbits are great at digging

Rabbits have a natural instinct to dig, and in the wild, they’re known for creating complex, interconnected burrows known as warrens, where they live in groups and hide from predators. Think of warrens as intricate mazes that only bunnies can access.

Read on for more about animals!

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