THE MERCK VETERINARY MANUAL
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Overview of Rabbits

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The European or Old World rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) is the only genus of domestic rabbits. Wild rabbits and hares include cottontail rabbits (Sylvilagus) and the “true” hares or jackrabbits (Lepus). Rabbits have been bred for fur, meat, wool, exhibition, and for use as laboratory animals. The closest relative to the rabbit is the pika (Ochotona princeps), which lives in cold climates such as the Rocky Mountains. Rabbits are not rodents.

Last full review/revision September 2015 by Joerg Mayer, DMV, MSc, DABVP (ECM), DECZM (Small mammal)

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