HEALTH

The dwarf rabbit, that rodent that it is not

Julie Lambert Author blog dwarf rabbit

Julie Lambert, Paris, France

November 19, 2020

4

When you go to the pet store, you see that rabbits and rabbit items are in the rodent aisles. At home, your rabbit has devoured your wooden furniture as well as your cables and chargers. So you think that if your charming companion is only gnawing, it must naturally be a rodent. But no, the rabbit is not a rodent.

01 – The rabbit is not a rodent

So even though we can regularly hear that rabbits are not rodents, this is not the case. Rodents have different characteristics from rabbits. First of all, rodents are omnivorous mammals, known for their dentition. In fact, they have only one pair of incisors that grow continuously, unlike rabbits. Another more technical characteristic that differentiates rodents from rabbits concerns the movement of the jaw during meals. Rodents have vertical and then horizontal movements but this is not the case with rabbits.

Rodents include mice, rats, gerbils, hamsters and guinea pigs.

02 – Characteristics of lagomorphs

But then, what is the scientific name given to rabbits? Well, it is the term lagomorph. So rabbits are lagomorphs. They are exclusively herbivorous mammals, with numerous teeth (6 incisors, 10 premolars and 12 molars) with continuous growth and an exclusively circular jaw movement.

Dwarf rabbit rodent

The hamster is a rodent unlike the dwarf rabbit.

Photographed by Unsplash.

Now that you know this little anecdote, you can bring it up again the next time you go to the pet store or have dinner with your friends.

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