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Copulation in the Wild Rabbit, Oryctolagus c uNic Ul Us

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image of Behaviour

1. Copulation in the Wild Rabbit has been observed very rarely and never adequately described. 2. Four separate observations on this activity are given. 3. The respective roles of male and female are described in detail and the importance of co-operation from the female despite apparent quiescence, emphasised. 4. Since three of the four instances witnessed occurred in the hour before sunset (sunset - 47 mins ± 3 mins) a peak or sexual activity at this time is postulated. 5. Considering the large number of rabbits under observation in daylight, and at the height of the breeding season, it is considered that the pre-sunset peak is neither the main or only peak of sexual activity. 6. The intense activity of the males observed during coitus is irreconcilable with the only previous published description.

Affiliations: 1: Wildlife Survey Section, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, Tasmanian Regional Laboratory, Hobart, Tasmania


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