The rabbit burrow, as the wild rabbits create it in nature, turns out to be a real fortress. No wonder, because the burrow is supposed to provide the wild rabbits with very good protection from predators and at the same time serves as their “home”.
What actually is a rabbit hole?
The rabbit hole is a system of burrows created by wild rabbits. It serves as a safe den for the rabbits, providing space for the entire pack. In addition, the rabbits use it as a place of retreat when it rains, for example, and the “fortress” also serves as protection from predators.
In the construction itself, the rabbits apparently leave nothing to chance. For example, they build various entrances and exits so that they can disappear in all directions in an emergency.
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The animals “measure” the size of the rabbit burrow according to how many pack members live in the community. The more there are, the larger the rabbit warren will be, so it may well take up the floor space of a spacious apartment.
Who builds the den?
All members will be equally involved in the construction of the “house”, because rabbits are very social and, above all, very dedicated animals that really go the extra mile for their community.
They dig the rabbit hole with their paws and move sometimes gigantic masses of earth. After all, the soil must not only be loosened, but also transported out of the tunnels to the outside. This is necessary so that the corridors are always free, so that the animals can hobble through without any problems.
The structure of the rabbit hole
As mentioned, a rabbit hole is largely made up of small corridors, each leading to different exits. All these passages cross each other, so that the rabbits can easily get to different exits to escape from their den. Especially when things have to move quickly, it is important to have as many entrances and exits as possible.
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For optimal protection from predators, however, the tunnel system is only large enough for the hares to just fit through. The fox, on the other hand, will not fit through the entrance, so the rabbits are really safe in their burrow.
To get here quickly, they usually don’t move far from their den. They usually go in search of food in the immediate vicinity.
If you take a closer look at the rabbit burrow, you will notice other peculiarities. For example, there is only one main entrance in each case, but various side entrances. This factor also serves the safety of the animals.
To find the side entrances, you will have to look carefully, because they often end under a shrub or the like. The main entrance, on the other hand, is clearly visible and can be recognized by the fact that it is quite spacious. There the rabbits enter slowly hopping. The side entrances, on the other hand, resemble a downspout. They protrude almost vertically downwards. If the rabbits are fleeing from a predator, they can disappear into their burrow in a flash.
Wild rabbits live outdoors all year round and must therefore protect themselves from both intense heat in the summer and freezing cold during the winter months. That’s why the tunnel system protrudes a little more than two meters into the ground, where temperatures are almost identical year-round.
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Rabbits spend most of the day in their burrow, as this is where they find the optimal living conditions. Only in the evening hours and at dusk do they go in search of food and leave their den for this purpose.
Clever room distribution
You can imagine the rabbit burrow like an apartment. Rabbits like to cuddle with each other, so the main area of the underground burrow resembles a living room. This is where the animals stay most of the time.
From this area, the various escape routes lead off in all directions. These are important so that all rabbits can leave the burrow immediately if a predator attacks or if, for example, flood waters threaten.
The passageways, as mentioned above, are very narrow so that large animals cannot enter. They are sufficient for the rabbits to escape. However, if they meet in the tunnel system or want to overtake each other, it becomes difficult. But the rabbits have found a good solution for this as well, so that a widening of the tube is created at regular intervals.
Other “rooms” in the rabbit hole include the so-called nest chambers. These are separate “rooms” that are created so that the babies can grow and thrive in peace. These bays are much smaller in size and are equipped with small nests where the babies can really make themselves comfortable. In the main room, on the other hand, there is usually just a bare coop where the rabbits cuddle with each other.
All in all, it can be said that the rabbit hole is really a masterpiece.
My name is Mark and the senior editor
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