Zoological name: The present day domestic breeds of rabbit
have been derived from the European wild rabbit (Oryctolagus
cuniculus). The examples of wild rabbits are the Assam rabbit
or hispid hare (Caprolagus hispidus), the Sumatran short-eared
rabbit (Nesolagus netscheri) etc.
Distribution: They are found almost every part of the world. In the wild state, the Assam rabbit occurs along the Himalayan foot hills ranging from Uttaranchal to Assam.
Habitat: Rabbits live in a wide variety of habitats such as grasslands, woodlands, prairies, marshes, swamps and deserts. However, they prefer to live in open woodlands and scrublands.
Physical features: The mature body weight ranges from 2 to 5 kg. Their forelimbs are shorter than hindlimbs. Rabbits have grey, white, brown or black hairs. The Assam rabbit, however, has dark brown upper part while brownish white under part. The salient body features include five toes on the forefeet and four on the hind feet, toes equipped with powerful claws, 28 teeth, gap between the incisors and premolars, and short tail. The most striking feature of the rabbit (also other lagomorphs) is its well developed caecum.