By Adrienne A. Kruzer, BBA, RVT, LVT
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For those who’re questioning what the distinction between a bunny and a rabbit is, you’re not alone. Do these phrases imply the identical factor, or is one solely applicable for a sure age or kind of animal? Discover out if there’s a distinction and, if that’s the case, what that distinction is, so you need to use the correct terminology when referring to your fluffy pet.
Are Bunnies and Rabbits Completely different?
There isn’t any distinction between bunnies and rabbits — the phrase “bunny” is simply one other phrase for rabbit. The principle distinction between using the phrase bunny versus rabbit is that many individuals describe small or child rabbits as bunnies. But it surely’s additionally not unsuitable to name bigger or grownup rabbits “bunnies” — and plenty of rabbit house owners use the phrase as a time period of endearment for his or her mature rabbits. It’s value noting that “bunny” is a time period used for each domesticated and wild rabbits.
Bunny vs. Rabbit vs. Hare
So, if bunnies and rabbits are the identical, what units them other than hares? Let’s bounce into what makes a rabbit a real rabbit.
What’s a Rabbit?
A rabbit is a furry mammal with lengthy ears, highly effective hind legs, and a fluffy tail that appears like a cotton ball. There are each domesticated and wild rabbits. Domesticated rabbit breeds are present in properties the world over as pets in addition to on farms the place they’re raised for meals. The American Rabbit Breeders Affiliation (ARBA) has acknowledged 49 totally different breeds of home rabbits. “Oryctolagus cuniculus” is the Latin species title for all domesticated rabbits, no matter their breed. They’re a part of the order “Lagomorpha” and the household “Leporidae” however usually are not the identical as hares or wild rabbits.
Rabbits can stay a median of eight years, however their lifespans range enormously. One pet rabbit is even recorded to have lived to be 18 years outdated, however most stay to be between 5 and 10 years. Rabbits could also be known as bunnies their complete lives.
What’s a Hare?
Hares and wild rabbits are a part of the identical order and household as home rabbits however have totally different genera. There are two sorts of untamed rabbits: Cottontail rabbits and Pygmy rabbits. Wild Cottontail rabbits are a part of the genus “Sylvilagus,” and wild Pygmy rabbits are a part of the genus “Brachylagus.” Lastly, hares, also called “jackrabbits,” are a part of the genus “Lepus.” Hares have longer ears than most rabbits and 48 chromosomes, whereas rabbits have 44. Wild rabbits and hares might all even be known as bunnies.
Hares usually have a lifespan of about three to 5 years within the wild, though some might stay longer in captivity. Elements akin to habitat, predation, and availability of meals can affect their lifespan.
Is it Appropriate to Say Bunny?
The phrase bunny has just a few totally different meanings, one in every of which is an off-the-cuff phrase for rabbit. Whereas it’s right to name a rabbit a bunny, nonetheless, it isn’t the formal phrase for animals within the “Leporidae” household. You’ll be able to name a rabbit of any age a bunny and may check with male rabbits as “bucks” and lady rabbits as “does.”
Different phrases which can be used when referring to rabbits:
- Coney (an outdated time period for rabbit)
- Lapin (French for rabbit)
- Bunny rabbit (typically utilized by youngsters)
What Are Child Rabbits Known as?
Child rabbits are generally known as bunnies, however the technical time period is “package.” The phrase is derived from the phrase “kitten,” however this longer title isn’t generally used. When a rabbit provides delivery, it’s known as “kindling,” and as much as 15 kits may be born in a litter. All rabbit kits are born with out fur, and their eyes and ears are sealed shut. As they develop, bunnies develop fur and are capable of see and listen to. At about six to eight weeks of age, a package can go away their mom and survive on their very own, so that you received’t discover a bunny on the market or adoption that’s any youthful than this.
Adrienne Kruzer is an completed veterinary technician and author with over 15 years of hands-on expertise caring for home and unique animals.