Rabbits and bunnies alike are cute by themselves, but they seem to have a multiplying effect when they are together. One bunny is cute, but a basket of them? Absolutely adorable. Today, we are going to learn just what to call a group of rabbits or bunnies, a bit of the linguistic history behind the words, and a few interesting distinctions between them. Let’s hop-to and get started!
What is a Group of Rabbits Called?
One of the most widely used names for a group of rabbits is a colony. This term reflects the social nature of rabbits, who often live together in underground burrows or above-ground nests. A colony can consist of several families of rabbits that share resources and look out for one another, just like a lot of other animal species. Colonies are especially common among wild rabbits, with a notable example being the European rabbit.
Another popular name for a group of rabbits is a fluffle, although this word definitely doesn’t sounds as scientific as the others! This term is derived from the word fluffy, which describes the (incredibly) soft fur of rabbits. A fluffle can also refer to a group of young or baby rabbits, who are also called bunnies. Speaking of bunnies, the word bunny is actually an informal and affectionate name for rabbits, not exclusively but often referred to those kept as pets. The correct term for a baby rabbit is a kit or a kitten.
Some other names for a group of rabbits are a herd, a nest, or a warren. A herd is usually used for domesticated rabbits raised for their meat or fur. A nest is a term for a group of newborn rabbits who stay close to their mother until they are weaned. A warren is a term for the network of tunnels and chambers that some rabbits dig underground. A warren of rabbits would specifically refer to a group of rabbits within a warren.
Since a bunny is just a different term used to reference rabbits, any of the group words used for rabbits would technically be applicable to bunnies.
Rabbits vs. Bunnies vs. Hares
Rabbits, bunnies, and hares are all similar animals, but are they actually just different words for the same thing? Well, not exactly. Let’s go over a quick etymology (how a word came to be) and anatomy (physical characteristics) in order to learn what the differences between these three are. If you want to be accurate, it’s important to know how to identify them!
Rabbits are small mammals that belong to the family Leporidae and the order Lagomorpha. The word rabbit comes from the Old French rabbotte meaning “young rabbit”. Anatomically, rabbits have short ears, powerful hind legs, and a divided upper lip. They prefer to live underground and have babies called kittens or kits. Rabbits can be wild or domesticated, and there are a LOT of breeds of rabbits with different colors and sizes.
Bunnies are another name for young or baby rabbits. Bunny is especially used as a term of endearment for pet rabbits. When people call a rabbit a bunny, they usually have soft fur, round eyes, and cute noses.
Hares are mammals that belong to the family Leporidae and the order Lagomorpha, but they are a different genus than rabbits. The word hare comes from the Old English hara, meaning “gray.” Hares have longer ears and bigger hind legs than rabbits do. They usually live in nests or forms above ground and give birth to fully developed babies called leverets. Hares are mostly solitary and nocturnal animals. They can run faster than rabbits and have better eyesight.
What Do You Call a Group of Hares?
Unlike rabbits, who live in burrows or warrens, hares do not form large social groups. However, they may gather together for mating or feeding purposes. There are several names for a group of hares, depending on the source and the context:
- A down of hares: This term is derived from the word downy, which describes the soft fur of hares. A down of hares may also refer to a group of young or baby hares.
- A drove of hares: This term is used for a group of hares that are moving together, especially when fleeing from danger or pursuing a mate.
- A husk of hares: This term is used for a group of hares that are resting together, especially during cold weather.
How Many Babies Can A Rabbit Have At A Time?
For ages, the phrase “breeding like rabbits” has been used to describe rapid reproduction. This phrase is no joke since female rabbits can basically give birth to create their own fluffle. several times a season. While the average litter size for rabbits is 5, some mother rabbits can give birth to as many as 20 babies or as few as 1. Babies in the wild are out of the nest by three weeks of age. Due to this short weaning time, doe rabbits can have 3-4 more litters in a season.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Fiona M. Donnelly/Shutterstock.com
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