Rabbits! They’re popular as a pet. They’re lovely as a wild animal. And they are also a common cultural symbol, an embodiment of ideas. Art and society use rabbits to represent many concepts, from cuteness to timidity to fast running speed. They’re a staple of paintings and fairy tales. A rabbit has so many interesting facets to consider. Think about rabbits for a while and the thoughts may bounce around your head like a bunny hopping around the hills. For your entertainment, here is a totally random compilation of fun bunny information.
Run, Run, Rabbit
Everyone knows that rabbits run fast, but just how fast are they really? Depending on what source you turn to, the numbers may vary a bit. However, generally they estimate between twenty-five and forty-five miles per hour. (About 40 to 72 km.) Now that’s a pretty big range. A bunch of different factors affect a bunny’s running speed, such as the type of rabbit and its age and health. Sources may also vary based on whether they’re talking about average speed or top speed. Usually they’re referring to top speed, but it doesn’t hurt to check if they clarify what they mean.
At any rate, a post from bunnyslippers.com says that jackrabbits are the fastest kind, responsible for the “45” in the “25 to 45” range that frequently gets cited. (Even though jackrabbits are technically hares. Despite that, they tend to get lumped in with studies about rabbits.) Apparently, snowshoe hares are the slow stand-outs, providing the lower end of that oft-cited range. That’s still very fast, however. Rabbits can thank their long, strong legs for their terrific running ability. They’re excellent at hopping and jumping, too, which adds to their running skills.
This article called “How Fast Does a Rabbit Run?” from cuteness.com agrees with naming jackrabbits as the top runners. It also mentions domestic rabbits. Domestic rabbits can reach up to around 30 or 35 miles per hour, although a person’s pet would rarely come across the need to run that fast. A pet rabbit certainly doesn’t need that much speed to outpace their sluggish human.
It’s enough to make a person feel slightly envious, isn’t it? After all, instead of sprinting through the wind and the rolling grass at high speeds, humans are often sitting in chairs within offices. Alas, the life of a bunny is not humanity’s. At least you can daydream about running like that. And hey, even if you are stuck to a chair, you can still make it a very comfortable chair. Visit Beverly Hills Chairs and you can get a super-comfy, ergonomic chair. They have a variety of nice features like breathable mesh seats and backs, armrests and cool wheels. Roll around in a well-designed chair and make your hardwood floor or your chair mat into your rolling grass field.
To get slightly closer to the racing rabbit experience, the Beverly Hills Chairs website also sells sit-stand desks. These adjustable desks can be raised up to allow a person to stand before them. Standing is a great way to be a little more active in the workplace and help out your circulation.
And if you still need more happy thoughts to pick you up in the office, then remember the following fact about rabbits:
Rabbits are Adorable
Yes, of course this is a fact. What do you mean it’s an opinion?
All right, fine, people’s opinions on this matter will vary. But it is true that rabbits exhibit many of the traits that human beings tend to find cute. The scientific findings of zoologist Konrad Lorenz, which are discussed in this YouTube video from Vsauce, name a few of the characteristics humans usually consider cute. These include soft and round features, large eyes, and a large head (compared proportionately to the rest of the body). Apparently these preferences evolved in humans as a response to our babies, but it’s easy to see such qualities in many animals too. That goes especially for the kinds of animals that people like to keep as pets.
So under that scientifically-backed description, aren’t rabbits really cute? The way their legs get tucked in close to themselves while sitting can make their bodies look pretty rounded. From the side or from above, the rabbit form appears like a nice round shape, with another, smaller round ball (the head) attached to it. Plus most rabbits are soft and fluffy. Aww! According to that same video, looking at cute things activates pleasure centers in humans’ brains. So here’s some sound advice for you: keep a stash of cute bunny pictures to look at whenever you need a dose of happiness to brighten your day.
Sure, kittens and puppies have their charms too. (And the word “kittens” in that sentence refers to cats, by the way. Just clarifying because baby rabbits are actually called kittens too.) Theoretically, anything could be made cute as long as it is small and round or possesses other traits of cuteness. But if you’re an experienced cuteness-gazing veteran who’s already beheld many cats and dogs in your time, then please take a moment to also appreciate the special appeal of bunnies. Those sweet faces! The charisma of the elongated hind legs! Especially their long ears.
The ears of a rabbit bless them with a distinctive feature. It makes them unique. An artistic drawing of a rabbit is quickly identifiable by the long ears. Even if you’re looking at a super-deformed cartoonish style, or a very minimalistic style, you can always recognize rabbits as long as the signature ears are there. It’s such a comforting phenomenon.
But rabbit ears aren’t merely for show, of course! Well, unless they’re a lop rabbit. Then their ears really are for show, pretty much. As explained by an article titled “How Rabbits Hear: The Long and Short of Bunny Ears” from the Calgary Humane Society, lop ears don’t really occur in wild rabbits. The trait is the product of humans’ selective breeding efforts, which have given lop rabbits those floppy ears that are made more for aesthetics than function. A pet owner of a lop ear rabbit should be mindful to take extra special care of their fluffy friend.
Anyway, extraneous human designing aside, what are rabbit ears supposed to be for? Hearing, of course. Similar to a satellite dish, the ears of a rabbit are curved in such a way as to help them catch minute signals. The rounded form and extended length of those ears are truly useful qualities to have. Rabbits can detect small sounds and even pinpoint where those sounds came from. For more hearing ability, rabbits can also move their ears, tilting and adjusting them as needed to hear what they want to hear. As a prey animal, it is important that rabbits can notice any sounds of potential predators nearby.
Rabbit ears have more functions besides hearing. They also help a rabbit cool off in hot weather. Unable to sweat or pant like some other animals, rabbits rely on their ears, which they use to vent hot air away from themselves. This is why desert-dwelling rabbits typically have gigantic ears, even compared to other rabbits. However, the rabbit method of cooling is not amazingly efficient. For that reason, pet owners often receive advice to keep a cool place, like a ceramic tile in a spot of shade, accessible within their rabbit’s habitat. That spot can give a rabbit a good resting place on a hot day.
Another thing to note is that rabbit ears are delicate and easily damaged. Those ears may be powerful hearing tools, but they’re made of thin skin. You may see a lot of cartoons where rabbits get picked up by their ears, but don’t do it in real life!
Continuing on the subject of things that rabbits ought to avoid:
Rabbits Cannot Eat Potatoes
It is well-known that rabbits are herbivores. Rabbits are popular with people for a number of reasons, even aside from the cute looks and quiet nature. Vegan and vegetarian humans probably feel a certain kinship with rabbits because they have something in common with each other. However, there are some vegetables loved by humans that rabbits shouldn’t join in on. One of them is potatoes. The starch is too hard on a rabbit’s digestive system. Some sources claim that cooked potatoes in small amounts are okay, but the food choice still seems to be not advisable overall.
Other foods, rabbits can eat, but only in moderation. They often love fruits like bananas for example, but can’t eat too much because the sugar would be excessive. The bulk of a rabbit’s diet consists of fiber-rich foods like hay. However, while rabbits love to eat grass, it is definitely not good for them to have grass from a lawn that has been treated with things like pesticides. Stay away!
Rabbits really have to be careful not to eat bad foods. There are multiple reasons why (aside from the obvious unpleasant feelings), and one of these reasons is that rabbits cannot vomit. They do not have the stomach muscles for it, as explained in a piece called “Why Rodents Can’t Throw Up, In Case You Were Wondering” from the online Smithsonian magazine. Rabbits share this trait in common with several other types of rodents, including relatives of mice, squirrels, and guinea pigs. In fact, the reason that rat poison tends to be effective is that rats cannot throw it back up after consuming it.
Anyway, now that you have those wonderfully pleasant images in your head, it’s time to move on. That tidbit about rabbits and potatoes may seem like a pretty random thing to point out, but if you’re a big fan of video games, you may have already known about it. Players of Fire Emblem Awakening encounter that bit of information within some characters’ conversations.
Super-powered Fantasy Rabbits
In real life, rabbits are soft prey animals, quick to flee from signs of danger. For whatever reason, it appears that the timidity of real-life rabbits has caused many writers to enjoy portraying them as tough battlers in fiction. Well, that is what imagination is for, after all. Examples that may come to mind include the competent police officer Judy Hopps from the 2016 film Zootopia, or the surprisingly muscular Lopunny from the Pokémon franchise, especially in Mega form.
The Nintendo 3DS game Fire Emblem Awakening features the characters Panne and Yarne as part of the player’s army. They are members of the Taguel, a race of shape-shifting warriors who can transform between a humanoid form and a giant killer rabbit form. In that giant killer rabbit form, they have powerful legs that can kick foes, sharp pointy teeth, and menacing glowing red eyes. Far from mild prey animals, the Taguel are strong and savage soldiers who can really kick up a terrific fight.
The fictional Taguel do retain some of the more familiar qualities of rabbits, however. For instance, Panne mentions in a support conversation that Taguel cannot eat potatoes – she says “they make us sick to our stomachs” – which is true to real-life rabbits. Additionally, a talk from the special Hot Spring Scramble DLC episode observed Yarne’s fear of water. He claimed that he dislikes bathing in hot water simply because it makes him feel like he’s in a pot of rabbit stew, but there are other good reasons that rabbits would be wary of water. Pet owners are usually advised not to give baths to their rabbits, because being soaked to the skin can make a rabbit go into shock.
Yarne also had the timid personality common to rabbits, which caused more than one problem for him, but at least he was usually able to put it aside in order to defend his friends on the battlefield. Now that’s stellar.
Whether in real life or in fiction, rabbits are awesome animals. Their powerful legs and ears give them impressive running and hearing skills. Plus they look really adorable, and that statement is scientifically defended. They’re a regular feature of plush dolls, fictional stories, and the homes of pet owners. Hopefully, as you sat in your chair and beheld your computer screen just now, you’ve been able to learn something new about these lovely fluffy creatures today.