World Lagomorph Society
World Lagomorph Society
LagDoc Details
Why were New World rabbits not domesticated?
A. D Somerville, N. Sugiyama


  • A greater diversity of rabbit species occurs in North America compared with Europe.
  • Archeological evidence demonstrates thousands of years of human–rabbit interactions in both Europe and North America, particularly at the ancient city of Teotihuacan (~AD 1–550) in central Mexico where several studies suggest practices of rabbit management by humans.
  • The European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) is the only lagomorph species to have been domesticated by humans.
  • This review finds that behavioral differences between European and North American rabbits explain their differential suitability for domestication.
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Document Information
Publish date: June 2021
Edition: Animal Frontiers