The Amami Rabbit is said to be a primitive type of rabbit because of its short ears and short hind legs. Their numbers have declined because of deforestation, which deprives them of food and refuge.
Body length: 45.2cm
Tail length: 2.7cm
(Source: Doubutsu Sekai-isan* Red Data Animals Kodansha) (*World Animal Heritage)
The Amami Rabbit lives only on the islands of Amami Oshima and Tokunoshima.
The Amami Rabbit eats grass, fresh branches, and nuts.
The Amami Rabbit raises its offspring in rabbit holes. Except at times when the mother feeds milk to her offspring, she will cover the rabbit hole with dirt to conceal it. Isn't that clever!
A rabbit that can't do bunny hops!
The Amami Rabbit lives only on the islands of Amami Oshima and Tokunoshima, and is said to be a primitive rabbit. While most other rabbits evolved over the years, the Amami Rabbit has remained relatively unchanged in appearance. If you look closely, you will notice the Amami Rabbit has shorter ears and hind legs compared to other rabbits. Their jumping ability is rather weak, so instead of hopping around, as in bunny hops, they use their large claws to skillfully climb slopes and dig holes in the ground.
Repeated deforestation deprives the Amami Rabbit of food and refuge
The reason why the Amami Rabbit retains its primitive form is because this form best suits them for life on the island. But as more people came to the island, the environment started to change. People continued to cut down trees, wiping out sources of food and refuge for the Amami Rabbit. Amami Rabbits are also frequently attacked by mongooses, which were originally brought to the island to exterminate the Habu, a venoemous snake. Today, the Amami Rabbit is on the brink of extinction.
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