Some interesting facts about rabbits, rabbit origins and history and rabbit mythology...
- rabbit whiskers are as wide as the body (so they can feel their way in tunnels and not get stuck)
- rabbits noses twitch 20 to 120 times per minute (faster when excited or stressed and slower when relaxed or sleeping)
- rabbits can't see directly in front of their nose but can see behind them (to keep an eye out for danger approaching)
- rabbits lick each other and humans as a sign of affection (the "top bunny" will request grooming from subordinates)
- rabbits shed hair when you hold them and they are stressed (a defence mechanism, to wriggle free from a predator's grip)
- rabbits can sleep with their eyes open (a useful trick but disconcerting for us!)
- the Romans farmed wild rabbits and this was called "cuniculture"
- the Latin name 'Oryctolagus cuniculus' means 'hare-like digger of underground tunnels'
- rabbits was the original name for babies while adult rabbits were called coneys
- rabbits were first domesticated in the 5th Century by monks in France
- rabbits with Dutch markings can be seen in paintings from the 15th Century
- rabbits started to be kept as pets and for the hobby of "fancy" breeds in the Victorian era
- rabbits are a symbol of fertility and rebirth and are therefore commonly associated with Easter
- rabbits are often represented as tricksters, using their cunning to outwit enemies
- rabbits are one of the twelve celestial animals in the Chinese Zodiac or calendar
- in Japanese tradition, rabbits live on the moon
- the Aztecs worshipped a pantheon of four hundred rabbit gods known as Centzon Totochtin