Giant Bunny "King of Rabbits" Fossils Found on Island of Minorca

Posted Mar 22nd 2011 01:00 PMUpdated Mar 23rd 2011 10:38 AM


giant bunny fossils minorca

Meike Köhler

The giant bunny fossils foundby researchers buried in red rock on the island of Minorca, Spain belong to a 26-pound Nuralagus rex, or "King of Bunnies" about six times the size of today's rabbits reports. That's one big bunny. And it could end up being Minorca's mascot.

This particular "rex" is no Tyrannosaurus though.

The Easter Bunny need not fear a comeback by the King, as the giant bunny lived 3 to 5 million years ago on the island, part of Spain's Balearic chain in the Mediterranean Sea.

The Spanish island of Minorca may be best known to tourists as the low-key beach cousin of Mallorca and Ibiza.

The creature likely grew in size because on the island it had a lack of predators. The giant bunny had smaller ears than modern rabbits and got so big it actually lost the ability to hop, scientists believe.

"I think that N. rex would be a rather clumsy rabbit walking - imagine a beaver out of water," paleontologist Josep Quintana of the Catalan Institute of Paleontology in Barcelona, Spain, tells LiveScience.

The scientist suggested the rabbit may make a good mascot for the island. We're not so sure. What's a bunny without it's hop? Sad, just sad. Do they really want an extinct, clumsy, non-hopping bunny for a mascot?

"I would like to use N. rex to lure students and visitors to Minorca," Quintana said.

It would appear they do. Keep an eye out for "King of Rabbits" giant bunny souvenirs on the next trip to Minorca.

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Hopefully Minorca does not get many Australian tourists. You won't attract Australians with bunny rabbits, let alone giant ones. Rabbits in Australia were the first well-known disaster of an invasive species - and still are, I think. They hate 'em!

April 12 2011 at 1:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

He looks like he found a night stand, ah, make that hop?

March 24 2011 at 11:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

To me it looks less like a rabbit than a Kangaroo.

March 23 2011 at 7:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I saw a 100 lb rabbit once - when I was buzzed on Miller beer!

March 23 2011 at 7:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This one would definitely give Elmer a run for his money.

March 23 2011 at 7:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

slow news day for AOL

March 23 2011 at 7:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Why must these "journalists" that post their articles on AOL almost always get "cutsy" with their reporting? The subject was a serious paleotological discovery, and yet Fran Golden felt it was necessary and proper to include phrases such as: "The Easter Bunny need not fear a comeback..." And: " What's a bunny without it's hop?"

If her intent was to make her article more interesting or readable, she missed the mark. Her banal approach merely trivialized and diminished the scientific value of this discovery.

March 23 2011 at 7:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rock Fossil

I was born in the year of the rabbit, 1951..........but I haven't lost all of my hare! Used to have a Harem back in Cali in the early 70's, 80's and 90's! I was the shit. Now I just a waste!!! LOL.

March 23 2011 at 6:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dale Debelak

Could this be the hare from Monty Python's Search of the Holy Grail?

March 23 2011 at 6:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

OK, we've found the Easter Bunny's origins, now let's start looking for the Great Pumpkin and the Tooth Fairy.

March 23 2011 at 6:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply