Old World Rabbit


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Related to Old World Rabbit: Oryctolagus
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Old World Rabbit

 

(Oryctolagus cuniculus), also European rabbit, the true rabbit, a mammal of the order Lagomorpha. It measures 35-45 cm long and weighs 1.3-2.2 kg. The upper part of the body is basically brownish gray. The wild Old World rabbit is native to southwestern Europe and northwestern Africa. It was introduced and proliferated in Central Europe, Great Britain, New Zealand, Australia, South America, and the northern part of the United States. In the USSR it is found in the southwestern Ukraine. The Old World rabbit lives in open places, forming huge colonies. It feeds mainly on herbaceous plants. The animal reproduces several times a year, and each litter contains three to nine young. It is hunted for its flesh and fur. In some places it is intensively exterminated as a serious agricultural pest. The animal has been domesticated, and it is the ancestor of the domesticated breeds of rabbit. In some places the acclimatization of the Old World rabbit has had undesired consequences. For example, in Australia the Old World rabbit destroys herbaceous plants, which has resulted in the decrease of a number of species of animals.

REFERENCES

Ognev, S. I.Zveri SSSR i prilezhashchikh stran, vol. 4. Moscow-Leningrad, 1940.
Gureev, A. A.Zaitseobraznye (Lagomorpha). Moscow-Leningrad, 1964.(Fauna SSSR: Mlekopitaiushchie, vol. 3, issue 10, no. 87.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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