Rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus f domesticus

The rabbit is the "youngest" domestic animal. The wild rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) is the only progenitor of the domestic rabbit. The monks in Benedictine monasteries started its domestication at the beginning of the Middle Ages in the south of France. Rabbit meat was eaten during Lent and so the monks kept the rabbits in closed tiled monastery yards. Rabbit breeding spread from France to England, Belgium, and Holland in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and the biggest boom in rabbit breeding began in the nineteenth century. Rabbits were already the source of cheap and readily available meat for a large number of people in Europe. Several hundred breeds exist today because of the rabbit's popularity as a pet, as well as a source of food and other material.

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