CLASSIFICATION OF RABBIT : ORYCTOLAGUS
PHYLUM :- CHORDATA (Notochord, dorsal tubular nerve cord present and gill slits present )
Group :- CRANIATA ( Definite head. Cranium with brain present )
Sub-phylum :- VERTEBRATA ( vertebral column present)
Division :- GNATHOSTOMATA ( Jaws and paired appendages present )
Super class :- TETRAPODA ( Paired limbs, lungs, bony skeleton and cornified skin).
Class :-MAMMALIA ( Body covered with hairs. females have mammary glands ).
Sub-class :- THERIA ( Viviparous ).
Infra class :- EUTHERIA ( Placental mammals, vagina single ).
Order :- LAGOMORPHA ( 7 Upper incisors 2 pairs ).
Genus : Oryctolagus
They are widespread around the world and inhabit every continent except Antarctica. However, they are not found in most of the southern cone of South America, in the West Indies, Indonesia or Madagascar, nor on many islands. Although they are not native to Australia.
HABIT AND HABITAT
Inhabiting fields, grasslands and woodlands. Gregarious, crepuscular (coming out of burrows for feeding in twilight), coprophagous (eating again their soft stool for maximum nourishment and polygamous.
Many species dig burrows, but cottontails and hispid hares do not. The European rabbit constructs the most extensive burrow systems, called warrens. Nonburrowing rabbits make surface nests called forms, generally under dense protective cover. The European rabbit occupies open landscapes such as fields, parks, and gardens, although it has colonized habitats from stony deserts to subalpine valleys.
GENERAL CHARACTERSTICS OF ORYCTOLAGUS : RABBIT
- Commonly called as Rabbit.
- Body cat-like and divisible into head, neck, trunk abdomen and tail.
- Head contains long tactile vibrisae or whiskers, external nares, usually shorter eyes and mouth.
- External ears large having external auditory meatus.
- The long ears of rabbits are most likely an adaptation for detecting predators.
- Length 40 cm from mouth to anus.
- Fur colour white, black, brown or spotted.
- Males have muscular skin-covered penis.
- Females have clitoris.
- Forelimbs used for digging and hind limbs for leaping. Fast runner (30 to 40 km per hour). Forelimbs contain upper arm, forearm, metacarpus, hand and clawed fingers. Hind limb contains thigh, shank, metatarsus, foot and clawed toes.
- Active throughout the year; no species is known to hibernate. Rabbits are generally nocturnal, and they also are relatively silent.
- Instead of sound, scent seems to play a predominant role in the communication systems of most rabbits; they possess well-developed glands throughout their body and rub them on fixed objects to convey group identity, sex, age, social and reproductive status, and territory ownership.
Skeletal adaptations such as long hind limbs and a strengthened pelvic girdle enable their agility and speed (up to 80 km [50 miles] per hour).
Fur of rabbit is used to make purses, gloves and caps. Some varieties used as food. They also form important experiment animal for study and research. Most of chordate anatomy is based on rabbit. Rabbits are used in immunological studies for raising antibodies for immunodiagnosis.
The animal has hairy white fur and above features, hence it is Rabbit.