Rabbit Scientific Name

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Written By Zoey Seaforth

Committed to nurturing small pets with passion and purpose.

Picture a soft, white rabbit hopping through a field of wildflowers.

They come in many sizes, shapes, and colors, but all of them share a common scientific name: Oryctolagus cuniculus.

Let’s explore the scientific classification of this beloved species, from kingdom to species.

Rabbit Kingdom, Phylum, and Class

Rabbits belong to the kingdom Animalia, the phylum Chordata, and the class Mammalia. This scientific classification helps to provide us with an understanding of the evolutionary history of this species.

Rabbits are a diverse group of mammals, and there are over 60 species of rabbits, hares, and pikas. The fact that rabbits have been around since the Eocene period is a testament to their evolutionary success. Most of the species belong to the family Leporidae, and this is where the scientific name for rabbit comes from: Oryctolagus cuniculus.

Rabbits have adapted to many different habitats and are found on every continent except Antarctica. Depending on the species, they can range in size from the smallest pygmy rabbit to the largest European rabbit.

Understanding the evolutionary history of rabbits and their classification can help us discover interesting facts about rabbits and their behavior. This knowledge can also help us better serve the rabbit population in our care.

Rabbit Subclass and Order

You may be surprised to know that rabbits are part of the subclass ‘Lagomorpha’, and their order is ‘Leporidae’.

This order includes over 50 species of wild and domesticated rabbits, hares, and pikas. Breeding rabbits, such as the Dutch, American Fuzzy Lop, and Satin, are all members of the Leporidae order. While these rabbits have been domesticated, there are still many wild species that are part of the Leporidae order, including the European Rabbit, the Marsh Rabbit, and the Appalachian Cottontail.

All of these species have evolved to become expert at breeding and surviving in their respective habitats.

All in all, the Leporidae order is a very diverse and interesting one!

Rabbit Subfamily and Genus

The Lagomorpha subclass consists of multiple subfamilies. The Leporidae order is assigned to the Oryctolagus subfamily. Within the Oryctolagus subfamily, there is a further division into the genus Oryctolagus, commonly known as the European Rabbit.

The European Rabbit is distinguished for its breeding habits. They mate multiple times a year and can produce up to eight litters. They also have a preference for a diet of grasses, fruits, and vegetables.

In addition to the European Rabbit, other species of rabbits are also included in the genus Oryctolagus. Examples of these species are the Cottontail Rabbit and the Amami Rabbit. Each of these species has its own distinct diet preferences and breeding habits.

No matter the species, rabbits are an important part of the ecosystem. That is why it is important to understand their scientific name and the subfamily and genus they belong to.

Rabbit Species

Understanding the different species of rabbits can help you to recognize their distinct diets and breeding habits. With more than 60 different species, it is important to familiarize yourself with the scientific nomenclature of these animals.

For example, the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) is a popular species and is found in many parts of the world. It is known for its foraging behavior, burrowing habits, and its ability to inhabit diverse habitats.

The Sumatran rabbit (Nesolagus netscheri) is an endangered species that is only found in Sumatra, Indonesia. Its diet consists of mostly grasses and its breeding habits include only one litter of offspring per year.

Lastly, the Pygmy rabbit (Brachylagus idahoensis) is a species native to the American West and is known for its small size and its preference for sagebrush as its primary food source.

Rabbit Subspecies

Knowing the subspecies of rabbits is key to appreciating their various behaviors and habitats. Subspecies Diet Mating Rituals
Sylvilagus floridanus Herbivorous Polygamous
Sylvilagus audubonii Herbivorous Polygamous
Oryctolagus cuniculus Omnivorous Monogamous

Rabbits are an incredibly diverse species, with many subspecies. As a result, dietary habits and mating rituals vary widely among them. Sylvilagus floridanus and Sylvilagus audubonii are two common North American subspecies with a predominantly herbivorous diet and a polygamous mating ritual. The European Oryctolagus cuniculus, also known as the domesticated rabbit, is omnivorous and monogamous. Understanding the behavior of these species is key to serving them effectively.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Natural Habitat of Rabbits?

Rabbits live in a variety of habitats, from deserts to forests. Their breeding habits and predator avoidance strategies vary with their natural environment. Certain species are adapted for living in grasslands, while others are better suited to rocky or wooded areas. All rabbit species have adapted to their environments and have specific scientific nomenclature. To best serve others, it’s important to understand the various rabbit species and their natural habitats.

How Do Rabbits Communicate With Each Other?

You may be surprised to learn that rabbits communicate with each other in a variety of ways! They use visual cues such as posture, body language, and ear movements to express themselves. Rabbits also have an acute sense of hearing and smell, allowing them to detect subtle changes in their environment. Moreover, they use scent marking to communicate social behavior, such as who is in charge. In conclusion, rabbits are quite adept communicators!

What Is the Average Lifespan of a Rabbit?

On average, domesticated rabbits live 8-12 years, though wild populations may only live 3-4. Breeding habits can affect their lifespan, so it’s important to keep yours healthy and active to maximize their years.

Are There Any Health Concerns With Keeping Rabbits as Pets?

You may be surprised to learn that rabbits can live up to 10 years with proper vet care and housing requirements! Common health concerns to look out for are intestinal issues, dental disease, and respiratory infection. Make sure to visit your vet regularly to ensure your pet rabbit is healthy and happy.

Are There Any Special Considerations for Feeding Rabbits?

When feeding rabbits, you should consider their dietary needs and provide environmental enrichment. Research the species of rabbit you have; they may require special diets. Make sure to provide hay, fresh vegetables, and other appropriate items. Offer variety to ensure they get all the nutrients they need.


Now that you know the scientific name of rabbits, you can further investigate the various rabbit species and their unique characteristics.

By exploring the scientific nomenclature of rabbits, you can gain a better understanding of the different types of rabbits and their behaviors.

As a result, you can be better informed about all the different types of rabbits and their relationships to each other.

With this knowledge, you can evaluate theories and explore the truth of a theory in a more enjoyable and relatable way.

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