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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > HOUSE RABBIT Q & A > what type of animal is a rabbit?
Last Post by jerseygirl at 6/01/2013 12:45 AM (18 Replies)
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User is Offline PeachyCream
97 posts Send Private Message
5/29/2013 10:01 PM

I'm wondering if it's true that rabbits are rodents... People keep telling me they are but I'm not so sure... First off.. don't rabbits have more teeth than rodents? Secondly, aren't rodents omnivorous? where as rabbits and hares are herbivorous?

So are rabbits rodents or not? If not, then what type of animal are they?


User is Offline jerseygirl
Australia
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5/29/2013 10:04 PM
You're correct, they are not rodents.
They are Lagomorphs.
Whoever says "It's only a rabbit" has obviously never loved a rabbit.

User is Offline Chronicambitions
Staten Island, NY
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5/29/2013 10:09 PM
Edit: didn't see Jersey's post.

User is Offline PeachyCream
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5/29/2013 10:17 PM
Oh wow you're right... I looked it up now and more specifically a rabbit is the same family of lagomorphs as the hare... the family is called "Leporidae" It's really interesting stuff, I'll probably read up more on them (I get really fascinated with different types and breeds of animals xD especially ones with a big history like rabbits, apparently bunny ancestors might have been around in the dinosaur ages! 0.0)

User is Offline LittlePuffyTail
New Brunswick, Canada
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5/30/2013 3:13 AM

Here's what scientist guess at what the rabbit's ancestors looked like 3 to 5 million years ago. Pretty cute, huh? 

 

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User is Offline LBJ10
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5/30/2013 5:53 PM
Beavers?
Yes.
Squirrels?
Yes.
Hamsters?
Yes.
Mice?
Yes.
Rabbits?!
No!

Hahaha!

User is Offline LBJ10
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5/30/2013 6:00 PM
Lagomorphs have "peg" teeth behind their upper incisors. When looking at skulls, that is the way to tell the difference between a rodent and a lagomorph.

User is Offline bullrider76543
Joplin MO
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5/30/2013 6:17 PM
I was reading an article on Rabbits that said that their closest relative my be primates not cattle or horses. of course the research is still ongoing. but it really annoyes me when people say they are rodents and they are NOT!!
 photo bbsignature_zps33af2ebb.jpg

User is Offline LBJ10
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5/30/2013 8:54 PM
My understanding was that Rodentia and Lagomorpha are two separate Orders that belong in a larger Superorder that includes primates and some others. Exactly how closely related rodents and lagomorphs are related to each other is still being debated. New evidence shows they may have split off from each other much earlier than previously thought (making their relatedness more distant). It is interesting that you bring that up Bullrider because I too have heard that rabbits are more closely related to large ungulates. I have tried searching for information on that, but I never seem to find anything. I will have to search more on this tomorrow.

User is Offline RabbitPam
South Florida
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5/31/2013 4:28 AM
Lagomorphs, for sure.

The question is really "What Type of animal is a rabbit?"

Answer: they're the type to look super cute as they steal the lettuce out of your sandwich.
They're the type that growl at you when you go to pet them, thinking you will be scared.
They're the type that stay up late at night, run from you when you try to get them into bed, and giggle silently as they foot flick you heading for under the couch.
They're the type that demand total dedication to their every need. Then lick you twice (kisses) and make you feel proud of yourself for doing it all.
They're the type that redefine "Cute".
 photo CarrotCrop100x500BBSiggy_zps0f2147e4.jpg Have your people call my people. We'll do carrots.

User is Offline LBJ10
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5/31/2013 7:50 AM
Posted By RabbitPam on 05/31/2013 07:28 AM
Lagomorphs, for sure.

The question is really "What Type of animal is a rabbit?"

Answer: they're the type to look super cute as they steal the lettuce out of your sandwich.
They're the type that growl at you when you go to pet them, thinking you will be scared.
They're the type that stay up late at night, run from you when you try to get them into bed, and giggle silently as they foot flick you heading for under the couch.
They're the type that demand total dedication to their every need. Then lick you twice (kisses) and make you feel proud of yourself for doing it all.
They're the type that redefine "Cute".

I agree Pam! They are also the type that chews on something they shouldn't. You come running to stop them (you heard it) and when you get there they are sitting in the middle of the room with an innocent look on their faces.


User is Offline LBJ10
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5/31/2013 8:07 AM

I think I found it. Originally, it was thought that Uintatheres was related to ungulates. It had specialized similarities to ungulates. Here's the Wikipedia page on them: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uintatheriidae
So anyway, in 1982, two scientists decided that perhaps this animal did not belong with the ungulates. Instead, they thought it was more closely related to Anagalids. Here's the Wikipedia page on them: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anagaloidea
The closed living relatives of Anagalids are rodents and lagomorphs. A lot of the argument for Uintatheres being related to Anagalids (and not ungulates) was based on their teeth. Plus there was little evidence that Uintatheres was related to ungulates, it was mostly based on physical similarities.

I'm guessing this may be a case of convergent evolution.


User is Offline Buckley's Mum
Brighton, UK
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5/31/2013 8:17 AM
I'm sorry, are you lot speaking English? I have never heard of an anagalids, ungulates, or bullrider (except the obvious)???? Unfortunately I'm at work at present but I'm pretty sure when I get home tonight I shall be looking these creatures up! I love RabitPam's definition and I think she's spot on, although I'm sure there's more definitions to be added to that list! Is a beaver really a rodent? (again internet research tonight on that one).

It does annoy me when people call my little boy a rodent because he's not, he's much more than that! x

User is Offline LBJ10
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5/31/2013 8:22 AM

Buckley's Mum - Sorry, it is the biologist talking. =) Uintatheres and Anagalids are extinct mammals. If you go to the Wikipedia pages, it gives descriptions. Ungulates are hooved mammals. And Bullrider is a member here on BB.

EDIT: Yep, beavers are rodents. They are most closely related to squirrels.


User is Offline LBJ10
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5/31/2013 10:58 AM

Whoa!

The main argument for the rabbit-rodent connection is their similar sets of gnawing teeth (though rabbits have an extra pair of incisors). The main argument against it is that distinct rabbit and rodent fossils go back about 60 million years.

When two different groups of animals have descended from a common ancestor, the earlier fossil versions generally look more alike than the later ones. But with rabbits and rodents, the reverse is true: earlier versions look less alike than the later ones. This implies that the dental similarities we see now arose by "convergence," by adaptation to similar diets rather than by direct genetic inheritance.

During recent decades, molecular comparisons have helped to sort out relationships among animals whose morphology is confusing. Human anatomy, for instance, doesn't tell us which primate is our closest evolutionary relative, and every known ape and monkey had been suggested by one expert or another. In the past few years, DNA comparisons have shown decisively that we're most closely related to chimpanzees.

DNA molecules make up the genes, the hereditary material, and protein molecules are programmed by the genes. All the anatomical and developmental features of an animal are determined by these molecules, which do not "converge" the way tooth shape and overall appearance may do. On the contrary, all the available evidence confirms that the longer two species have been diverging from a common ancestor, the more different their DNA and protein molecules are. The more closely related two species are, the more nearly identical their molecules.

In January, Dan Graur of Tel Aviv University, and Laurent Duret and Manolo Gouy of Claude Bernard University in Lyon, wrote an article in Nature, "Phylogenetic position of the order Lagomorpha (rabbits, hares, and allies)." They analyzed 88 different protein sequences and compared rabbits with virtually all other groups of mammals, including rodents, ungulates, whales, carnivores, hyraxes, bats, and primates. Using sophisticated computer programs, they ran thousands of family trees to determine which ones mathematically were most likely to be correct.

The first thing they found was that the rabbit-rodent connection doesn't hold up. This family tree came out with a very low statistical probability. They concluded that the popular Glires cohort, putting lagomorphs and rodents together in one Easter basket, simply doesn't work. Look-alike teeth don't necessarily signal a true affinity. Surprisingly, the computer places whales, cattle, cats, and dogs, whose teeth are wildly different from those of gnawers, closer to rabbits than the rodents are.

Well then, which mammalian order gets the lucky rabbit foot? I never would have guessed, and neither did the hundreds of other eggspurts who have contemplated the Lagomorpha--and written learned dissertations to immortalize their mistakes.

The answer is... by heavy odds, rabbits come out most closely related to the primates!

http://researcharchive.calacademy.o...oints.html


User is Offline PeachyCream
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5/31/2013 11:35 AM
Wow.. well that makes a little sense in a way... Because primates (which humans evolved from) are mammals... and most herbivorous, like rabbits are... And the first mammal that all mammals are believed to have evolved from, closely resembled a rabbits, hares and the "pika"... Very interesting...

User is Offline LBJ10
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5/31/2013 1:15 PM
It is very interesting. Where rabbits should be placed has been being debated for a long time. That is why there is so much conflicting information out there. The stuff I posted was all stuff I found online. This last article is pretty cool. How accurate those findings are, I don't know. But if you go off of that, not only are rabbits more closely related to ungulates than rodents, they are also more closely related to whales, cats, dogs, and some other things. For the closest (even though that closeness is still quite distant) relatives to be primates though, that is super cool. I like your way of looking at it PeachyCream.

User is Offline PeachyCream
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5/31/2013 9:23 PM
omg my spelling is terrible sometimes, I just realised that xD as a grammar nazi I'm ashamed of myself...

User is Offline jerseygirl
Australia
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6/01/2013 12:45 AM
Mmm... I'm thinking rabbits came with the dolphins.

Lol about the term "bullrider". Do you think Wikipedia has a definition yet? bullrider: father/slave of Lagomorphs.

LPT, how'd you get a picture of Timbu with those creatures?!!
Whoever says "It's only a rabbit" has obviously never loved a rabbit.
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