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Common Rabbit

Common Rabbit
Photo Information
Copyright: Joe Kellard (joey) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-07-14
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon Powershot S3 IS
Exposure: f/3.5, 1/100 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-09-05 5:16
Viewed: 5403
Points: 28
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I thought I'd bring up a serious matter for Rabbits today.
Recently my sister's rabbit, Velvet, died of the appalling disease Myxomatosis. A recent outbreak of the disease has caused a huge amount of rabbits to die. Us humans are responsible for the spread of Myxomatosis. Back a few hundred years or so ago, the rabbit populations in Britain had got out of control. A method of culling was to introduce the highly contagious disease. It is so contagious that 10 years or so ago, 90% of the population of British rabbits died. I hope the people who make the culling desicions will learn from this disaster and use more humane methods. I hope this won't blacken your day too much but it is a serious matter that isn't brought up enough.

Here's some info on the European Common Rabbit to cheer you up :)

The European Rabbit is a small, grey-brown mammal ranging from 34-45 cm (13-18 inches) in length, and is approximately 1.3-2.2 kg (3-5 lb) in weight. As a lagomorph, it has four sharp incisors (two on top, two on bottom) that grow continuously throughout its life, and two peg teeth on the top behind the incisors, dissimilar to those of rodents (which have only 2 each, top and bottom). Rabbits have long ears, large hind legs, and short, fluffy tails. Rabbits move by hopping, using their long and powerful hind legs. To facilitate quick movement, a rabbit's hind feet have a thick padding of fur to dampen the shock of rapid hopping. Their toes are long, and are webbed to keep from spreading apart as the animal jumps.

Rabbits are known by many names. Young rabbits are known by the names bunny, kit, or kitten. A male rabbit is called a buck, and a female rabbit is called a doe. A group of rabbits is known as a herd. Colloquially, a rabbit may be referred to as a "coney" or a "bunny", though the former is archaic.

The European Rabbit is well-known for digging networks of burrows called warrens, where it spends most of it time when not feeding. Unlike the related hares (Lepus), rabbits are altricial, the young being born blind and furless, in a furlined nest in the warren, and totally dependent upon their mother.

Rabbit behavior in the wild
Rabbits are gregarious, social animals, living in medium-sized colonies known as warrens. Rabbits are largely crepuscular, being most active around dawn and dusk, although they are not infrequently seen active during the day. Rabbits are essentially mixed-feeders, both grazing and browsing, but grass is their primary food source.

The rabbit mating system is rather complex. Dominant males exhibit polygyny, whereas lower-status individuals (males and females) often form monogamous breeding relationships. Dominance hierarchies exist in parallel for both males and females, although dominant females are usually the mates of the dominant male. Males show considerable investment in the welfare of young, although much of this aspect of rabbit behaviour is poorly understood.

Rabbits can be extremely aggressive in the wild, and competition between males can often lead to severe injury and death. Although hostile displays are used, and males often squirt urine on challengers as a form of territorial marking, the most common response to a challenge is immediate attack. Rabbits use their powerful back legs as weapons, kicking at an opponent's underside, as well as biting and scratching with the front paws.

Rabbit burrows are excavated primarily by the female (doe), and usually during pregnancy. The doe digs short, blind tunnels as nesting stops, and is probably responsible as well for the excavation of most of the connecting tunnels.

Much of the modern research into wild rabbit behaviour was carried out in the 1960s by two research centres. One was the naturalist Ronald Lockley who maintained a number of large enclosures for wild rabbit colonies, with observation facilities, in Orielton in Pembrokeshire. Apart from publishing a number of scientific papers, he popularised his finding in a book "The Private Life of the Rabbit", which Richard Adams names as the inspiration for his book Watership Down. The other group was the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Australia where Mykytowycz & Myers performed numerous studies of the social behaviour of wild rabbits. Since the onset of myxomatosis and the decline of the significance of the rabbit as an agricultural pest, few large scale studies have been performed and many aspects of rabbit behaviour are still poorly understood.

Humans' relationship with rabbits
Humans' relationship with the European (sometimes called true) rabbit was first recorded by the Phoenicians earlier than 1000 BC, when they termed the Iberian Peninsula i-shfaním (literally, the land of the hyraxes). This phrase is pronounced identically in modern Hebrew: i (אי) meaning island and shafan (שפן) meaning hyrax; shfaním (שפנים) is the plural form. Phoenicians called the local rabbits hyraxes because hyraxes resemble rabbits in some ways, and were probably more common than rabbits in their native land (the Levant) at the time. Hyraxes, like rabbits, are not rodents. According to one theory, Romans converted the phrase i-shfaním to its Latin form, Hispania, which evolved into the modern Spanish word España, English Spain, and such other variations of modern languages. The precise meaning of shafan remains unclear, but the balance of opinion appears to indicate that the hyrax is indeed the intended meaning.

The European Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) is the only species of rabbit to be domesticated. All pet breeds of rabbits, such as dwarf lops and angoras, are of this species. However, rabbits and humans interact in many different ways beyond domestication. Rabbits are an example of an animal that is treated as food, pet, and pest by members of the same culture.

pankajbajpai, Alex99, eqshannon, Jamesp, Silvio2006, Finland_in_Eton, JoseMiguel, pierrefonds, JORAPAVI, haraprasan, jmirah, angybone has marked this note useful
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hello joe,
nice shot of this cute rabbit, the twinkle in the eyes look very nice, well composed shot, good pov, natural colours, sharp image with good details,
well done,
tfs & regards

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2007-09-05 6:19]

Hi Joe.
I send the greeting your rabbit from our Ukrainian brown hare. So cute portrait of this charming littlie animal. It knows what it does and does this excellently. Skillfully posing and so fine picture. Great details, reflection of the essence of this creature and cropping. TFS and kind regards.

I have always like these somewhat diagonal portraits. In this case it is very true to color and sharp as well. Nobody and I mean nobody can call you on poor notes:-) Its a book!

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2007-09-05 7:39]

Hi Joe

Lovely shot - wonderful detail and nice warm colours. Good camera cropping of the rabbit.

On Ramsey Island (Pembrokeshire, they are having a problem because Myxomatosis came to the island last year and killed most of the rabbits. The rabbits keep the grass short - which the Choughs depend on for feeding (insects). The RSPB are having to put more sheep on the island.

On the other hand, rabbits are not native to this country.... However, it is horrible to see them infected.


bonjour joe
un tres bon piqué,le pelage est tres bien detaillé.
bien vu

Hi Joe, lovely portrait with great details, excellent light and wonderful colors, very well done, ciao Silvio

Oh there is nothing 'common' about your bunny.. it is quite the opposite ! A lovely critter in a lovely photo. Wonderful colors and detail, Joey, and I like the composition, too. Fantastic reflection in the eye and you can just feel the energy in that little body. Well done.

Good notes, too, especially the part about Myxomatosis. The first time I encountered it was here in the UK. One of the lakes we fish has a large rabbit population. A couple of summers ago almost every rabbit we saw there seemed to be suffering from the disease. It was not pleasant to see. Most of them were suffering severe conjunctivitis, some appeared to have gone blind already. It was not nice. If humans don't get over this urge to control nature there is no hope for this planet.

TFS, Mish

Hi Joe,
This is a very clear capture of this rabbit!
I like so much the details got on its fur, ears and that great reflections on the eye!
So touching your story about the disease. To think about it.
Well done and thanks for share it.
My best regards,

Hi Joe,

A nice image of the rabbit, the photo has a good composition, sharpness and nice colors. Thanks for sharing.


Hola Joe,
¡Vaya parece que se colocó para la foto!, excelente retrato con gran definición y detalle, excelente iluminación, saludos
José Ramón

Hi Joe,
A beautiful capture of this rabbit. Nicely portrayed with excellent details and composition. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Hi Joe,
Informative note. Very fine photo of the rabbit. Excellent detail with nice soft colors. Very well captured.


Oh... I love rabbits!!! What a cute and tender portrait of this little beauty! Composition, exposure and texture of its fur are fantastic! This is beautiful. Sorry, no time really to read this long note but I'll be back latter :) Well done with your sweet subject!

I missed this lovely little bunny somehow. Great catchlight in the eye...wonderful how you captured the softness of the fur. Great shot! :)

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