The European rabbit (scient. Oryctolagus cuniculus) is a closely related species to hare, which has been introduced on the island of Crete by humans (many confuse that with hare). Despite the many predators on Crete, the rabbit reproduced rapidly and is now spread across the island of Crete and several smaller islets around it. For this reason, the authorities have several times tried to lower its population.
The rabbit is a favorite game animal in the Greek islands. It is nocturnal and gregarious, with smaller size than the hare, and usually does not weigh more than 2kg. Moreover, its skeletal structure is quite different from the hare, while it has smaller and rounder ears. The rear legs are also shorter. Its coat color hues vary according to habitats, with gray-brown coat color, white belly and tail.
Like the hare, it digs burrows in the ground where its hides all day long. It has the same eating habits with the hare, feeding on roots, bulbs, weeds and grass. Moreover, sometimes it eats bird droppings to receive their vitamins.
The rabbits hunt at night, not too far from its nest. Being very coward, it is always ready to run into its burrow. There are always rabbits observing the surrounding area, while other animals eat. When they feel danger, they immediately stand up on their rear legs. If the danger is real, they start hitting their feet on the ground and all rabbits disappear at time.
As mentioned, rabbits reproduce very quickly. Indeed, females (does) can give birth 8 times a year, 4-12 bunnies per time! Does can give birth at the age of 4-5 months, while it is impressive that they have a double uterus. This means that while being parturient, they may become pregnant again with their other womb! Their pregnancy lasts only 30-31 days.
One striking example of rapid rabbit reproduction took place in Australia, where the 24 rabbits first introduced in 1859 had multiplied in number to over 600 million over the course of less than a century. Their rapid multiplication makes them harmful for agriculture and therefore its hunting is allowed even out of the hunting season.