Difference Between Bunnies and Rabbits

Hares vs Rabbit
Md. Sakib Hossain
by Md. Sakib Hossain on {date}

Ever wondered what sets bunnies apart from rabbits? Are they just two different names for the same fluffy creatures, or is there more to it? As a devoted pet lover, especially one enamored with these adorable, long-eared creatures, it’s crucial to understand the nuances between bunnies and rabbits. Brace yourself for a plot twist, there isn’t a scientific distinction between the two!

Rabbit vs Bunny or Bunnies 


Animals howstuffworks, both “bunny” and “rabbit” refer to animals in the family Leporidae. “Rabbit” is the more formal term used in scientific contexts and everyday language. “Bunny,” on the other hand, injects a touch of informality and often carries a connotation of cuteness.

Think of it like this: “rabbit” is the last name, while “bunny” is a sweet nickname.

However, there’s a lingering misconception that “bunny” refers specifically to baby rabbits. While this usage is sometimes seen, it’s not universally accepted.  A baby rabbit is simply a young rabbit!

Where Does the Confusion Stem From?


The bunny moniker likely arose from a desire to soften the word “rabbit.”  Cuteness overload might be the culprit!  Additionally, the Easter Bunny tradition, with its roots in Germany’s Easter Hare, may have played a role in popularizing the cuddly-sounding “bunny.”

What is a Bunny?


“Bunny” is a common, informal word that means “a rabbit.” This term is usually used to describe small or young rabbits and is often useful when talking to children. Bunnies have long ears, fluffy tails, and are playful. “Rabbit” is the correct scientific term for these animals however, “bunny” conveys a sense of cuteness and endearment, making it popular on bumper stickers and in children’s books.

What is a Rabbit?

Rabbits belong to the family Leporidae and are mammals classified as small animals. They are identified by their long ears, strong hind legs, and short, fluffy tails. Rabbits eat plants almost exclusively, including grasses, leaves, and vegetables. They live in groups that build complex burrows or warrens for shelter.
Rabbits inhabit various environments worldwide, from meadows and forests to deserts and wetlands. Many people enjoy keeping rabbits as pets because of their gentle disposition and playful nature. Additionally, rabbits are prey for other predators, which makes them an important part of ecosystems.

So, When to Use Which Word?


The beauty lies in your choice!  In formal settings like scientific papers or research articles, “rabbit” reigns supreme. But when chatting with friends or describing your pet’s playful antics, “bunny” perfectly conveys the fluffy charm.

Beyond the Name Game: Rabbits vs. Hares


Now that we’ve cleared the bunny-rabbit confusion, here’s a fun fact but there are subtle yet significant differences between the two. Let’s delve into that:

Physical Characteristics

  • While rabbits and bunnies share similar physical traits—long ears, twitching noses, and soft fur—rabbits typically refer to adult members of the species.
  • Bunnies, on the other hand, are often used to describe young rabbits, especially those in their infancy.

Behavioral Differences

  • Bunnies are known for their playful and mischievous demeanor, often bounding around with boundless energy.
  • Rabbits, being more mature, may exhibit calmer behavior, though each individual’s personality varies.

Lifespan and Growth

  • Bunnies grow rapidly during their first few months, reaching maturity within a year.
  • Rabbits, being adults, have a longer lifespan compared to bunnies, typically ranging from 7 to 12 years or more, depending on breed and care.

Pet Considerations

  • Bunnies are irresistible bundles of fur, captivating pet lovers with their endearing antics and curious nature.
  • Rabbits, while equally charming, require a deeper understanding of their needs, especially regarding space, diet, and socialization.

Rabbit Stats By the (Numbers)


Did you know? The world is hopping with over 50 different rabbit species National Geographic

Here are some interesting statistics to chew on:


Domesticated Delights

Over 50 million pet rabbits are hopping around homes worldwide Rabbit Welfare Association & Fund: Rrabbit Welfare.

Ears for Days

The lop-eared rabbit holds the record for the longest ears, reaching a whopping 79 cm (31 inches) Guinness World Records.

Speedy Scampers

The desert cottontail rabbit can reach speeds of up to 18 mph (29 km/h) San Diego Zoo Animals: Animals Sandiego Zoo!

The Conclusion


Whether you call them bunnies or rabbits, these fascinating creatures hold a special place in our hearts. So, the next time you encounter a fluffy friend, remember it’s all about the adorable lagomorph, no matter the name!

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