How Closely are Rabbits and Rodents Related?

How Closely are Rabbits and Rodents Related?
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Rabbits and Rats are not closely related. Rabbits are Herbivores and rats are omnivores. Rabbits and hares are members of the Leporidae family that make up the order Lagomorpha. At the same time,  Rodents are the most numerous group of mammals, including mice, raccoons, guinea pigs, hamsters, prairie dogs, pinnipeds, squirrels, muskrats, otters, chinchillas, and a variety of other creatures

How Closely are Rabbits and Rodents Related?

Contrary to common belief, bunnies are not rodents in the technical sense. Rodentia (rodents) are the largest group of mammals, with over 1600 distinct species (out of 4000 mammals). Historically classified as rodents, rabbits are now classified as members of the Lagomorpha order.

Rabbits and rodents are placental animals with comparable short breeding cycles to humans. Additionally, they produce a huge number of live offspring. After 1912, rabbits, on the other hand, were no longer classified as rodents. They are, as the name implies, lagomorphs. So, in terms of history, rabbits are closely related to rodents. But today, they are in a different order. Jump to 18 Ways to Make Money by Rabbit Farming **CHARTS**

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Between rabbits and rodents, there are numerous distinctions. The primary distinction between rabbits and rodents is that rabbits have an extra pair of incisors. Additionally, they differ in a few skeletal traits.

Let us discuss them all

Are Rabbits Rodents?

Rabbits and hares are members of the Leporidae family that make up the order Lagomorpha. At the same time,  Rodents are the most numerous group of mammals, including mice, raccoons, guinea pigs, hamsters, prairie dogs, pinnipeds, squirrels, muskrats, otters, chinchillas, and a variety of other creatures. Despite what we were taught in school, rabbits do not belong to the order Rodentia.

Mole, hedgehog, and shrew, all of which are members of the order Eulipotyphla, are examples of other animals that are sometimes mistaken for rodents.

Since current taxonomy hadn’t caught up with school textbooks for decades, rabbits were still classified as rodents. Considerably, it took even longer for rabbits to be distinguished from rodents in today’s culture.

Some Significant Differences Between Rabbits and Rodents

Listed below are a few noteworthy distinctions between rabbits and other small rodents.

·        Teeth

Although rabbit and rat teeth may appear to be similar, several distinctions distinguish the two species. To be more specific, one of the most significant reasons for rabbits’ departure from Rodentia has to do with the variations in their dental structures.

Rabbits have two sets of upper canines to differentiate themselves from rodents, while rodents only have one. Lagomorphs have a second set of incisors in their upper jaw, which they use to chew food. They are little hidden behind a bigger set of primary teeth, giving them the name “second incisors.” As a result, they are often not visible from the front of their mouth.

The overall number of rabbits’ teeth is more than that of rodents, though some of them might be extremely little.

Furthermore, the incisors of rabbits are completely coated in enamel on both sides, whereas the incisors of rodents are only enclosed in hard enamel on the front. In rodents, a coating of dentine covers the rear of the tooth, preventing decay from forming. When it comes to other mammals, the dentine is completely enclosed by enamel on all sides and forms the inside of the pulp cavity.

·        Digestion

Even though rodents and rabbits consume plant stuff, rabbits are considered herbivores. On the other hand, Rodents are omnivorous and may eat various foods, including insects, seeds, cereals, nuts, roots, and tubers, among others.

·        Reproduction

Unlike rabbits and Lagomorphs, Rats do not have a baculum, although rabbits have. It is common for animals to have a baculum or penis bone, which serves to harden the male’s penis and permits the animal to remain in a state of mating for extended periods of time.

Final Thoughts – How Closely are Rabbits and Rodents Related?

Rabbits were still considered rodents more than a century ago when they were first discovered. Towards the beginning of the twentieth century, paleontologists at the Smithsonian Institution began investigating the differences between Rodentia and what would eventually be known as lagomorphs. In 1912, James W. Gidley advocated that rabbits be reclassified as lagomorphs, not as rodents.