The anatomical structure of the rabbit


The external and internal structure of the rabbit is fundamentally similar to the organisms of other mammals. Although it has certain differences related to belonging to the hare family. They have thick fur and ears of large size, the length of which can reach one third of the size of the whole body. Depending on the belonging to one breed or another, the appearance of animals may differ slightly, but the structure of the internal organs corresponds to the general characteristics of the rabbit genus.

Features of anatomical structure and constitution

Many years of breeding work aimed at breeding meat, fur and decorative breeds has allowed to create animals that differ from each other in some features of the anatomical structure. In modern rabbit breeding, there are 4 main types of rabbits' constitution:

  • animals of a rough body constitution with a disproportionately large head, massive skeleton, and well-developed muscles;
  • standard rabbits with a strong constitution of the body, with a wide chest, a well-developed muscular system and a small elongated or rounded head;
  • tender animals of decorative breeds with poorly developed muscles and fragile bones;
  • The rabbits of a wet constitution are large in size, but their muscles are loose, their hair is not thick, and a large amount of fat accumulates under the skin.

Depending on the type of body structure, animals are classified as meat, meat, fur, or ornamental rocks. The latter can have a body length from 20-25 cm to 1 m, and the color of their fur is characterized by a wide variety of colors and shades.

Small animals with long ears

Rabbits of various breeds differ from each other in an exterior. The same signs can be both positive and negative for different members of the hare family.

Males have a larger head than females, but it should always be proportional to the rest of the body. The color of shiny eyes varies from black to red and pink (in albinos).

Most rabbits have long and upright ears capable of reaching one third of the entire body length. But there are lop-eared rocks.

The neck can be standard or shortened, but its muscles should easily hold the massive head of even giant individuals. The structure of rabbits may have a cylindrical (in chinchillas), traditionally stocky (Viennese blue) or rectangular (silver) shape. Down animals look like a ball.

A characteristic feature of a properly developing rabbit is an even back and waist. Humpback is considered a defect, and such animals should not be allowed to reproduce offspring.

Females of large breeds can have a massive dewlap. This is not a defect, but a sign of the normal state of the animal.

Muscular body and soft fur

The structure of the croup and sacrum can be round or wide (females crawl more easily), and chopped or drooping croup is a serious defect and the first sign that the rabbit needs to be rejected.

Paws must be strong and withstand body weight. Any curvature and clubfoot are considered defects and may indicate the development of rickets.

The belly of healthy rabbits is large and resilient. The presence of any hardening in it indicates health problems and requires immediate treatment. The rabbit must have at least four pairs of well-developed mammary glands. The skin of a healthy animal is elastic. In males, it is somewhat rougher than in females.

Rabbit fur is delicate and silky. It has a different thickness and length, but always shines in healthy animals. Ushastiki have a uniform one-color (white giant, New Zealand rabbits), or a multi-colored color of fur (in Russian ermine). The representatives of some breeds (chinchilla) coat color can be zonal.

Females that bring offspring are somewhat larger than males, although the external structure of their body is more tender. Animals quickly reach sexual maturity and can bring in the year from 24 to 60 cubs.

Rabbit Musculoskeletal System

The basis of the rabbit's skeletal system is a long spinal column, to which the skull, chest bones with ribs, as well as the front and hind limbs are attached using cartilage and connective tissue.

In total, the body of the rabbit 212 bones. In babies, bone weight can reach 15% of the total mass of the animal, and in an adult individual, this figure drops to 10%.

Experts share the axial skeleton, consisting of the spine and the skull, as well as the peripheral, which includes the chest, pelvic bones and limbs.

The rabbit's skull is little different in structure from the cranium of any other mammal. The spine is divided into the cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacral and caudal regions.

The mobility of the neck is achieved by 7 cervical vertebrae. Muscles are attached to the thoracic, lumbar, and sacral bones to ensure high mobility and jumping ability of these animals.

The anatomy of rabbits of meat breeds is more coarse, and the powerful bones of the limbs make it possible to hold a mass reaching 12-15 kg. Muscles are represented by striated musculature, and vascular walls are represented by smooth muscular tissue, which ensures blood and nutrient permeability.

The internal organs of the rabbit are covered with a fatty layer that protects them from mechanical damage.

The structure of the cardiovascular system

The cardiac striated muscle pushes blood through, directing it to all the organs and tissues of the animal. The rabbit heart is a small muscular sac, consisting of two atria and two ventricles. With an average weight of 6-6.5 g, it is reduced from 110 to 160 times per minute.

Arterial blood enters the organs and tissues of the animal through the large circulation. Poor blood through the veins returns to the heart. In a small circle of blood circulation, it is redirected to the lungs, where it is again enriched with oxygen, necessary for the normal functioning of the body.

In the body of a rabbit of medium size contains about 280 ml of blood, in its composition - red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets.

The constant movement of blood ensures the maintenance of temperature in the body of the animal. In winter, the standard figure is about 37 degrees Celsius, and in the heat it can rise to 40-41.

The bone marrow is responsible for the formation of blood, and the spleen destroys damaged or excess blood cells.

Features of the gastrointestinal tract

The digestive system of rabbits is represented by the jaw apparatus, the esophagus, the stomach and the intestines, in which the processing and splitting of food takes place, as well as the absorption of nutrients.

Rabbits at birth have 16 teeth, which by the end of the third week are replaced by 28 adult teeth.

Teeth grow throughout life, therefore animals are obliged to grind them constantly, using hard feed. Read more in the article "How many teeth have rabbits."

Rabbits are herbivores, their stomach is quite bulky and can hold up to 2000 cubic meters. see plant food.

Due to the content of concentrated hydrochloric acid and pepsin, as well as the activity of gastric enzymes, the process of digesting food and assimilating nutrients is fast. On the problems of the gastrointestinal tract and how to eliminate them, read the article "Causes and treatment of bloating in rabbits."

Fiber in the stomach does not break down and enters in a crushed form in the intestine.

The remnants of undigested food and waste products are excreted 9 hours after eating.

Respiratory system and its role in the life of the rabbit

The respiratory system is represented by the nose, throat, trachea and lungs. The complex structure of the nasal cavity allows animals to cool the hot summer air and warm it in winter, thus protecting the lungs from burns and frostbite.

The respiration rate in rabbits is very high. On average, per minute, he is able to take up to 282 breaths, passing about 5,000 cubic meters through the paired lungs. cm of air. In the alveoli, oxygen is absorbed by hemoglobin, which is part of the red blood cells, and is carried along with the blood through the body.

Rabbits are very sensitive and may suffocate with ammonia fumes that accumulate in rarely cleaned cells. In the fresh air animals grow very quickly. They have a great appetite, get sick a little and quickly gain industrial weight. At the same time their skin acquires excellent production characteristics.

Other systems of internal organs

The rabbit excretory and urinary systems are represented by the kidneys, ureters, and urethra, as well as sweat and sebaceous glands, which protect the body from hypothermia and excessive heat.

The kidneys filter the venous blood, cleaning it from harmful substances. Disruption of their work leads to a sharp deterioration in the health of the pet and his death.

The fluid, called urine, accumulates in the bladder through the urethra and excreted into the external environment. It is saturated with urea and ammonia and must be removed from the cells in a timely manner.

The male genital organs are represented by paired testes, which after 3.5-4 months after birth begin to produce sperm. During one pairing, the male can pick it up to 3.5 ml.

The rabbit has a uterus, a pair of ovaries, an oviduct, a vagina, and a genital slit, through which fertilization and circling processes take place.

Nervous system and endocrine glands

Like other mammals, rabbits have a well-developed brain and spinal cord, as well as the peripheral nervous system. The brain has several convolutions, and a large amount of gray matter makes these animals intelligent. Ushastiki quickly accustomed to the trough and tray, recognize the owners and love to spend time on their hands.

Nerve endings permeate all organs of the body. This makes rabbits sensitive to pain and allows them to react to danger more quickly. Of great importance in the life processes of animals are the endocrine glands, which produce hormones and other biologically active substances.

The thyroid hormone producing thyroid gland is responsible for the normal growth and development of young animals, as well as the exchange reactions in the body of rabbits. The pancreas controls the process of food digestion, and the adrenal glands provide water and fat metabolism.

Without testicles and ovaries, reproduction of these animals is impossible, and the pituitary gland produces more than 10 different hormones that positively affect the nervous system and other vital processes.

Sense organs

Since rabbits in nature are the main food of predatory animals, the senses are of particular importance for them, allowing them to react in time to threats and hide in burrows.

The vision of these animals is complex. It is represented by a pair of eyes capable of detecting colors. Rabbits are far-sighted, but they do not see very well at close range.

Rabbits see perfectly in the dark and have a circular view of 300-340 degrees.

Thanks to the resonating large auricles, rabbits have very sensitive hearing. They are able to turn their ears in different directions, picking up high-frequency sounds, with the help of which they communicate with each other.

Lop-eared rabbits lost their ability to hear well and cannot survive on their own in natural conditions.

Rabbits have a good sense of smell and distinguish thousands of odors. This helps them to special hairs that are in the nasal cavity.

The taste buds located in the language make it possible to feel the taste of the products, and the nerve endings in the skin provide a high sensitivity to temperature extremes and pain.

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