5 Facts about Rabbits from Smithsonian: Giant Rabbits
In celebration of the annual spring appearance of the Easter bunny on Sunday, Smithsonian Science offers these facts from Rabbits: The Animal Answer Guide, a new book by John Seidensticker, conservation scientist at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, and Susan Lumpkin, freelance writer.
Rabbits are not rodents, but lagomorphs (lag–uh-mawrf), a scientific term which means “hare-shaped.” Hares and pikas also are lagomorphs.
Scientists studying the bones of an extinct giant rabbit found on the Mediterranean island of Minorca estimate this prehistoric animal weighed as much as 31 pounds! The largest rabbits alive today– domestic breeds such as the Flemish giant–weigh 22 pounds at most.
Thanks to human introductions the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) is found throughout Western Europe, Australia, parts of South America, North Africa and on more than 800 islands around the world. Today in Iberia, Spain, the European rabbit’s sole home for many thousands of years, it is threatened.
Archaeologists have evidence of people hunting rabbits in the south of France some 120,000 years ago. Scientists suspect even Neanderthals lived on diets made up largely of rabbits
A “never fail” Kansas folk remedy for reducing fever recommends making a strong tea from the dung of the wild jackrabbit and drinking it every half-hour.
(via: Smithsonian Insider)
Wishing sunshine to all who celebrate this weekend, be it Passover, Easter, or Earthday.
Your friends at DogDaz Zoo.
It appears that we are suffering from the seasonal sleepiness that comes with spring. You would think that we would want to go outside and run around and enjoy the beautiful pollinating plants that are all over the place, but NO! We are sleepy and just want to nap. Maybe it is because of our seasonal allergies that everyone, animal and human, seems to get living in the Mid-Atlantic? Maybe it is the allergy medicine Mom gives us every day with our dinner? Whatever it is we sure are a sleepy bunch.
Does spring make you sleepy?
What kind of mischief did you get into today?
In the last few weeks, I started sneezing a great deal and get these crusty things by my eyes. My nose is all running and I just want to sleep. Am I dying?
Thanks for writing. No, you are not dying, you probably have seasonal allergies. Just like our humans, we can develop reactions to pollen, dust, and even grass. If you are sneezing, coughing, have irritated eyes or a runny nose, it is very possible that spring has sprung in your area and you are reacting to the blooms, especially if you go outdoors or sit in the window a lot. I get even pinker than usual this time of year. And Mom is really slow at getting the crusty things out of my eyes. Also, keep a whisker out for any new skin irritations, excessive scratching, bald patches on the skin, excessive redness around your eyes, mouth, chin, or ears, and if your human tells you that you are snoring.
There are a few things you and your human can do to help:
Stay indoors during high pollen days
Keep the windows closed and run an air conditioner to keep pollen out of the house
Wipe yourself down with a wet cloth if you have been outside
Take a bath (it is not as bad as it sounds)
If none of this seems to work then ask your human to take you to the Vet. You might have something else going on like an allergy to fleas. That would be bad!!!! (I hate flea bites!)
Take care and feel better,
Noel, the Queen of Everything
(Thanks to worldsbestcatlitter.com for these great suggestions)