Scientist recently discovered that a rabbit as large as the Easter Bunny actually existed. Although it didn’t poop candy or give people type 2 diabetes, it was over six times the size of nature’s current cuddly little throw pillows.
A recent study published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology reports that fossils of these tubby thumpers were discovered on the island of Minorca off the coast of Spain. This mega-bunny, aptly named the Minorcan King of the Hares (Nuralagus rex), lived approximately 3 to 5 million years ago and had several odd features that have never before been seen in rabbits, living or extinct – like a short, stiff vertebral column, small eyes and stubby ears.
The fact that it got so big on Minorca seems to follow the so-called “island rule.” On islands, big animals often get smaller, due to limited food, while small animals often get bigger, due to lack of predators.
N. rex wasn’t exactly the most graceful creature. When you don’t have any predators you tend to get a little lazy. Like a fat kid at basketball camp, the N. rex fossil displays a complete lack of hopping ability. Instead, scientists believe the cantankerous fur ball probably just waddled along the beach, occasionally humping and digging for crap to eat – think of the Jersey Shore, only with rabbits.
“Gigantism happens,” said Dr. Brian Kraatz of Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona, CA. “As evolution has shown repeatedly, strange things happen on islands.” Unfortunately, Doctor Moreau was unavailable for comment.
Of course, big, creepy bunnies are nothing new to the geek community. Here are a few of the creepiest rabbits that have appeared on our screens and in our nightmares…
Besides Gary Busey, what other unnatural, insane rabbits haunt your dreams?