Scientific Research Ainsley Voeks | Class 5 | DUE: May 16th | Genus: Oryctolagus

The 8 Characteristics of Life: (collage)

Characteristic #1: Reproduction (Sexually & Asexually)

"European Rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) adult female with young attempting to suckle. Norfolk, England, May."

- Reproduction is the ability to create offspring. (To reproduce asexually is to split apart. To reproduce sexually is to join together.)

"Rabbit Reproduction Chart"

A notable scientist in the field of European rabbit reproduction is Diana Bell, a zoologist at the University of East Anglia. Her contributions to the field have been made through her studying of a population of European rabbits on her school's campus since the 1980s.

Characteristic #2: Adaptation to Environment

"European Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) running, The Netherlands, May."

- The ability to adapt, or to adjust, to new conditions or environment, is an ability that an organism must be born with in order to have.

"Rabbit Susceptibility Chart"

A recent report released in April 2015 detailed how European rabbits became more susceptible to the myxoma virus, which was released on them in Australia to control their growing-out-of-control population there. The virus was released in 1950, and within six years, the rabbits adapted to the virus and the mortality rate decreased, little by little.

The European rabbit's ability to adapt is demonstrated in the video through its appearance-- its long and pointy ears allow for it to hear the faintest sounds, while its eyes have moved upwards, giving it nearly 360º vision, while its neck helps it see as well. Its strong legs' purpose is for running, probably to avoid prey.

Characteristic #3: Made of Cells

"Rabbit Anatomy"

- The primary characteristic of the eight characteristics of an organism is to be made of cells, the smallest unit of organization.

"Anatomy of an Animal Cell" (What a European rabbit's cell would look like)

The characteristics needed to be made of cells include being capable of asexual reproduction (the cells splitting apart), as well as to be able to perform specific functions.

Characteristic #4: Uses Energy

"European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculis) reaching up to feed on young Beech leaves {Fagus sylvaticus}, UK"

- To use energy is a characteristic of life because it allows for organisms to maintain homeostasis (another characteristic) and to give organisms the ability to do other work.

"Rabbit Food Pyramid"

The characteristics needed in order to use energy include being able to do work from obtaining food found by an organism to consume, as well as draw power from the sun.

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