Are rabbits mammals? 0 92

How to breed rabbits
Are rabbits mammals?
Are rabbits mammals?

How much do you know about your pet rabbit? The more you know, the better you can look after your pet. One of the things you may be wondering is; are rabbits mammals?

It may seem a bit weird to think of a bunny as being in the same animal class as humans. We look very different from a rabbit! But it’s important to remember that mammals do not necessarily look alike. They just share some of the same characteristics.

Mammals are very different from each other in other ways which is why they are split into different families and orders.

Let’s take a look at what makes a mammal a mammal and how we can tell whether rabbits are part of that class of animals.

What makes a mammal a mammal?

If we’re going to answer the question “are rabbits mammals?”, it helps to first know what a mammal actually is!

Mammals are animals that share some characteristics: All mammals are warm blooded, have a backbone and are covered in fur or hair. Female mammals have mammary glands to feed their young until they are weaned.

Are rabbits mammals?

If you have a rabbit as a pet you’ll be able to see that is has all of the above characteristics.

Rabbits are mammals of the family leporidae, and the order lagomorpha, along with hares.

Female rabbits and their young

As we’ve said, female rabbits have mammary glands, the same as all other mammals.

After a female bunny (a doe) gives birth, the babies suckle at the mammary glands to get their milk and stay nourished. It’s important that baby rabbits are allowed to do this until they are old enough to be weaned. This can happen anywhere from four to six weeks after they are born. If you are thinking of breeding rabbits then you should remember that it can be distressing if all does not go to plan. Around 50% of baby rabbits do not live past the weaning process.

You should also only breed rabbits if you’re sure you have the time and the knowledge and you know you have good homes for the baby rabbits to go to. It’s very important not to bring unwanted baby rabbits into the world.

It may be a surprise to you that rabbits are mammals. This means that your pet has something in common with you! As a class of animals, mammals all have a connection even though they all look very different.

As we mentioned earlier, rabbits are part of the lagomorpha order of mammals. Hares and pika are also part of this order and they do look like rabbits. The lagomorpha order is closely related to rodents and you can probably see that rats and rabbits have some facial features that are similar.

As you break down the class of mammals into families and orders you start to see more similarities. Lagomorphs are very common in the mammal world and can be found on every continent except Antarctica.

So in answer to the question “are rabbits mammals?”; yes they are. They share some characteristics with other mammals, including humans, but they have more in common with mammals in the same or closely related families.

Previous ArticleNext Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

3 surprising behaviours of pet rats 0 688

Pet rat behaviour

Rats have been given a bad name by decades of bad press. Far from the dirty, disease-filled pests that are portrayed on our screens, these sociable, clean animals have a few surprising perks to owning them.

These sociable, friendly pets are highly trainable animals who show affection for their owners and have many cute little quirks that make them great companions. They also have a very strange way of showing they’re happy!

With that in mind, here are three surprising behaviours of pet rats.

1. They are incredibly playful animals

This one will be no surprise to those who will have seen the boxing, chasing and excited jumps with their own eyes, but many are unaware that rats spend lots of time playing with each other and their owners. One scientific study actually showed that rats giggle when they are tickled. It’s highly recommended that you fill your pet rat’s cage with lots of enrichment toys and interact with them daily. Many owners report that their pet rats love being chased or to wrestle their hands!

2. They are incredibly social animals and love to show affection

Rats are incredibly social creatures. While of course every animal has its own personality and there are exceptions to the rule, they need to live with at least one other rat and most enjoy lots of daily interaction with their owners. It is not a rare sight to see pet rats snuggled up in the laps, pockets and sleeves of their humans. They will also nibble and lick them, as they would other rats, in a show of affection.

3. They boggle their eyes when they are happy

Surprising when first witnessed, one of the most peculiar aspects of rats is the way they display their contentment. While cats purr and dogs wag their tails, when a rat is very happy or relaxed they will brux and boggle – which is a sort of teeth grinding and very fast bulging of the eyes.

Rats are brilliant pets for all ages and there are many positives that come from owning these friendly, misunderstood animals.

What can degus eat? 0 1069

What can degus eat

When they’re living in the wild, degus focus on dietary fibre. It makes up about 60% of their diet, with the other 40% consisting of natural vegetation. But when they’re kept as pets, you’ll need to keep a close eye on what you feed your degu.

Good quality hay

For the most part, your degu’s diet should consist of good quality hay. There are lots of brands that will suffice, but two of particularly good quality are Timothy Hay and Meadow Hay. Keep an eye on the colour: if it’s pink or white, you should throw this hay away as it’s growing mould. If it’s green, it can cause bloating. Occasionally, you can mix some Alfalfa hay in with your regular hay. It’s high in protein, so great in small doses.

You can top up your degu’s bowl with a little bit of guinea pig or degu-specific food, but don’t go overboard. It’s important that your degu doesn’t start ignoring the hay because it’s got a range of health benefits, including the maintenance of a healthy gut and strong teeth. Around 10g of degu food a day should do the trick.

Human food in moderation

The good news is you can feed your degu some of your human food! Give them to your degu in moderation though, as they can cause gas and bloating. On rotation, you can feed them the following foods around once or twice a week:

• Asparagus
• Carrot tops
• Dandelion leaves
• Broccoli
• Cauliflower
• Fresh herbs
• Brussels sprouts
• Celery
• Cabbage
• Courgette
• Green beans
• Beetroot
• Dried herbs
• Pumpkin
• Butternut squash
• Marigold flowers
• Radish

Some sugary foods can be an occasional treat for your degu. In excess, they carry the risk of diabetes, so we’d only recommend doing this once a month.

• Apple
• Cherry tomatoes
• Peas
• Sweet potato
• Carrots
• Cucumber
• Sweetcorn or corn on the cob

When it’s treat time for your degu, give them a tiny amount (one or two) of:

• Sunflower seeds
• Peanuts
• Pumpkin seeds
• Whole nuts

As a general rule, the main thing to avoid giving your degu is fruit not listed here, rabbit food, hamster food or anything with molasses.

Just like us, degus love food – whether it’s good or bad for them. Bookmark this page to make sure you give your degu a balanced diet, and happy feeding!

Learn more about caring for your degu and other pet care advice here: http://www.nichepets.com/category/mammals/degus/