Species:  Oryctolagus cuniculus

Family: Leporidae

Given Name: Einstein

Location: Tucson, Arizona

Time: April 12th, 2017

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Rabbit Facts:

“Rabbits must consume plant material in large quantities to ensure proper nutrition, and thus they have large digestive tracts. In addition, their diet, consisting primarily of forbs and grasses, contains large amounts of cellulose, which is hard to digest. Rabbits solve this problem by passing two distinctive types of feces: hard droppings and soft black viscous pellets, the latter of which are immediately eaten (see coprophagy). Chewed plant material collects in the large cecum, a secondary chamber between the large and small intestine containing large quantities of symbiotic bacteria that aid in the digestion of cellulose and also produce certain B vitamins. The soft feces form here and contain up to five times the vitamins of hard feces. After being excreted, they are eaten by the rabbit and redigested in a special part of the stomach. This double-digestion process enables rabbits to utilize nutrients that they may have missed during the first passage through the gut and thus ensures that maximum nutrition is derived from the food they eat.”

-Andrew T. Smith

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