Rabbit Anatomy – Skeleton, Muscles and Internal Organs

You will find many variations on rabbit anatomy in comparison to ruminant or equine. In this article, I will discuss the detailed anatomy of rabbits. You will get the essential features of the skeleton, muscles, internal organs, and other organs from the male and female rabbit. 

I will try to show you all the features of external and internal organs with a labeled diagram. But you know, it is impossible to describe all the features of rabbit anatomy in detail in a single article. 

I will focus mainly on the rabbit skeleton, muscles, and internal organs here in this article. It does not mean you will not get information from other different organ systems of rabbits. Yes, you will also get a little information on the different organ systems of a rabbit. 

So, if you are interested to know the unique features of rabbit anatomy, then continue this article till the end. I hope you will get all the important anatomical facts from a rabbit in this single article. 

Rabbit anatomy guide

Okay, thank you so much for continuing this article and learn rabbit anatomy with me. Before starting, I would like to suggest you read the general anatomy of an animal. It will help you to compare the anatomical features of rabbits from other animals. 

Rabbit anatomy
Rabbit anatomy

But, if you have enough knowledge of animal anatomy, then you may continue this article again. I will cover the anatomical facts from the following organ systems of a rabbit. 

  • #1. Osteological features of different bones of a rabbit
  • #2. Muscles of a rabbit
  • #3. Anatomy of digestive organs of the rabbit
  • #4. Organs of the urinary system of rabbit
  • #5. Male genital system of rabbit
  • #6. Female genital system of rabbit
  • #7. Rabbit heart anatomy 
  • #8. The nervous system of rabbit 
  • #9. The skin of rabbit and other sense organs 

If you don’t find your desire organ system, please find it in other articles on anatomylearner. Let’s start to know the anatomical features of the different organ systems of rabbits one by one. 

Rabbit anatomy skeleton 

You will find two hundred and twenty-nine bones in the rabbit skeleton. But, this number is not fixed; you may find some variation on other rabbits. Mainly, the variation may occur in the bones of ribs, sternum, and clavicle. 

Here, I will show you the most characteristics features of different bones from the rabbit skeleton. Let’s see all the bones from the rabbit skeleton below. 

Rabbit anatomy skeleton
Rabbit anatomy skeleton

Forelimb bones rabbit

In the scapula of a rabbit, you will also find a spine that is located more cranially. There is a metaacromion process in rabbit scapula. It is a backward projection of the acromion process of rabbit scapula. You will also find the well-developed coracoid process in the scapula of rabbits. 

The head of the humerus is elongated, and the deltoid tuberosity is in the form of a ridge. The musculosprial groove of the rabbit humerus is shallow. You will also find the supratrochlear foramen on rabbit humerus bone. 

The radius and ulan bone of the rabbit are two separate bones. These bones are unable to move over one another. Interosseous spaces are very narrow in between these bones. 

You will find eight carpal bones in the rabbit skeleton. There are five cylindrical metacarpal bones in each limb of the rabbit. The first metacarpal bone is the smallest, and the third and fourth are the longest. You will find two phalanges in the first digit and three phalanges in the remaining four digits of the rabbit. 

Hindlimb bones of the rabbit 

You will also find some essential variations on the hindlimb bones of a rabbit. The ilium and ischium bones of rabbits are almost parallel to the vertebral column. There is a blunt superior ischiatic spine and a small sharp projection at its caudal portion. 

Obturator foramen is larger in rabbit hip bones. You will not find any ventral tubercle on the hip bone of the rabbit. Again, the pubic bone is a well-separated bone from the other two bones of the hip. 

The femur of the rabbit is comparatively long. You will find the third trochanter just below the proximal end of the femur at its lateral aspect. Previously, we found a third trochanter on the femur of the horse also. Trochlear ridges are almost equal, and the supracondyloid fossa is absent in the rabbit femur. 

In the rabbit, you will also find the triangular patella bone, but it is somewhat elongated. The base of the patella is comparatively narrow, and the apex is blunt in a rabbit. 

The tibia bone of the rabbit is thin, and you will find an elongated interosseous space between the tibia and fibula bones. The distal end of the fibula is completely fused with the distal end of the tibia bone. There is a prominent and sharp tibia crest on the tibia bone. You will find only one popliteal line at the caudal aspect of the rabbit tibia bone. 

There is also six tarsal bone found in rabbit skeleton that arranged in three rows. Metatarsal bones are four in number, and they are very narrow rod-shaped structures. The first digit is generally absent in the rabbit hind limb. You will find three phalanges in each digit of the hindlimb. 

Skull bones of the rabbit

You will find the following crucial osteological characteristics in the skull bones of a rabbit. If you want to know more about animals’ skull bones, please read this article – skull of animals. 

  • #1. You will find a well-developed nasal bone in the rabbit skull.
  • #2. The maxilla bone is fenestrated in a rabbit.
  • #3. You will find an extensive and spacious orbital cavity in the rabbit skull.
  • #4. The external auditory meatus is also very wide in a rabbit.
  • #5. You will find a small occipital condyle and a larger foramen magnum in the rabbit skull. 
  • #6. The condylar process and coronoid process of the massive mandible are fused. 
  • #7. There are a notch and a backward projection found at the angle of the mandible. 
  • #8. You will find large and elongated supraorbital foramen in the rabbit skull. 

Great, now find the different bones and unique structures from the rabbit skull. 

Vertebrae, ribs, and sternum of rabbit

There is some variation in the number of bones in the vertebrae column of a rabbit skeleton. These variations may occur in thoracic, lumbar, and coccygeal vertebrae bones. 

The cervical vertebrae of rabbits are comparatively short. You will find comparatively larger lumbar vertebrae with well-developed transverse processes. The sacrum bone is elongated and placed parallel to the ilium bone. 

There are also seven sternebrae found in rabbit sternum. The first segment is long and articulates with the clavicles on either side. 

There are twelve to thirteen pairs of ribs in a rabbit. The first seven pairs are sternal ribs, and the rest five to six pairs are asternal ribs. The sternal ribs have prominent head and articular processes. 

Rabbit muscles anatomy

The name of the rabbit muscle is almost similar that you found in other animal’s muscle. I will show you the superficial and deep muscles from rabbit anatomy with labeled images. You will also get the labeled images of muscles from other different regions of a rabbit. 

Rabbit anatomy muscles
Rabbit anatomy muscles

Please, find out these common muscles from the rabbit. 

#1. Muscles of the head and faces region of a rabbit

#2. Muscles of the neck, shoulder region of a rabbit

#3. Abdominal muscles of rabbit

#4. Muscles from the forelimb of a rabbit 

#5. Common muscles from the hindlimb of a rabbit and 

#6. Some common deep muscles from the rabbit body 

First, try to identify all the superficial and deep muscles from a rabbit. Then, you might try to learn the origin, insertion, and fiber direction of these muscles of rabbits.

Rabbit internal anatomy diagram 

Now, I will show you some internal organ anatomy from rabbits with a diagram. Here, you will find the essential and most special anatomical features of the internal organs. Let’s start to know from the digestive organs of rabbit anatomy. 

Digestive organs of a rabbit

You will not find the muzzle in a rabbit. The upper lip is fleshy and divided into two halves. The tongue of a rabbit is a muscular organ and comparatively thin. The tip of the tongue is blunt, and there are no torus linguae. It is attached by muscle to the hyoid apparatus and bears numerous taste buds. You will find filiform, fungiform, vallate, and foliate papillae. There is a broad and white color prominence at the root of the tongue. 

Twenty-eight teeth are found in a mature rabbit. The phyranx of rabbit is a narrow and elongated passage. You will find three different parts in the rabbit esophagus. The esophagus wall is very thin, and the cervical part is longer than the thoracic part. 

The stomach of the rabbit is small in structure. You will find the cardiac, fundic, and pyloric parts as you found in the horse’s stomach. The fundic part is comparatively large, and the pyloric part is well developed. Pyloric part is connected with the fundic part with a wide constriction. The wall of the rabbit pyloric is thick and possesses some transverse folds. 

Intestine of rabbit

You will find some differences in the different parts of the intestine of the rabbit. I will show you the significant differences in the intestine anatomy of rabbit

The duodenum of a rabbit is a long tube that contains a descending part, a caudal flexure part, and ascending part. In the rabbit, bile and pancreatic ducts open into the duodenum separately. Jejunum has different close loops, and these loops are located above the cecum and behind the stomach and liver. 

You will find a dilated part just close to the ilio-cecal junction in the rabbit intestine. This dilated part is known as the sacculus rotundus. The rabbit’s cecum is a wide sacculus long tube located at the whole ventral part of the abdominal cavity. It is coiled on itself and contains first, second, third, and a blind terminal part. The terminal part is slender, and you will not find any sacculation on this part. 

Rabbit intestine (internal organs)
Rabbit intestine (internal organs)

There are also three parts (ascending, transverse and descending parts) present in the rabbit’s colon. The ascending color starts from the base of the cecum in the form of a sacculated wide tube. The transverse colon is small and continues as a descending colon. The re-actum is a small, little dilated tube in a rabbit.

Salivary glands, liver, pancreas, and spleen of rabbit

You will find three major salivary glands in rabbits – parotid, sublingual and infraorbital salivary glands. Parotid ducts open behind the upper incisors, whereas infraorbital ducts open near upper molars. But there is no mandibular gland in a rabbit. 

The liver of a rabbit is extensive and consists of five lobes – caudate, right lateral, left lateral, right central, and left central lobes. The parietal surface is convex and related to the diaphragm. Again, the visceral surface of the liver is concave that accommodates the stomach partially. You will find the gall bladder in a depression at the visceral surface of the right central lobe. There is a renal impression at the right lateral lobe of the rabbit liver. This renal impression is comparatively broad and deep in a rabbit. 

The pancreas is located in the fold of the mesentery, passing across the close loop of the duodenum. It is a diffuse and delicate gland in a rabbit. You will find single pancreatic ducts that open in the duodenum. 

The spleen of the rabbit is elongated and spatula-shaped. The color of the rabbit spleen is dark brown. Cranial border of the spleen is convex, and the caudal border is irregular. The proximal end is pointed, and the distal end is blunt. 

Respiratory organs of the rabbit

There are few variations in rabbit respiratory organs compare to other animals. You will find a well-developed and extended nasal cavity. The nostril is an elongated slite-like structure in rabbits. 

There are four distinct lobes found in the right lung of rabbits. These lobes are – apical, cardiac, intermediate, and diaphragmatic. Again, you will find only two lobes (apico-cardiac and diaphragmatic lobes) in the left lung of the rabbit. 

You will also find the same cartilage in the larynx of rabbits. The thyroid cartilage is larger and forming the ventral wall of the larynx. Cricoid cartilage is smaller than the thyroid cartilage in rabbits. The tip of the epiglottis is rounded and bifurcated. 

The trachea is known as a windpipe composed of series of incomplete cartilaginous rings. The apical bronchus is absent in the rabbit trachea. 

Kidney and ureter of rabbit anatomy 

There are two bean-shaped kidneys in the rabbit urinary system. The surface of these kidneys is smooth. The right kidney is located just below the proximal end of the last rib and the first two lumbar transverse processes. Again, the left kidney locates below the bodies of the second and third lumbar vertebrae. 

You will find the same structures (like a renal artery, renal vein, ureter) in the visceral surface of the kidney as found in other animal’s kidneys. The ureter is two in numbers, and these are simple tubes in a rabbit. These tubes start from the hilus of the kidney at the middle of the medial border.

If you want to know more about the urinary organs of rabbits, please let me know. I will try to cover the anatomy of the urinary organs of rabbits in other articles. 

Rabbit anatomy male 

It is so interesting to know the unique features of male and female organs from the rabbit anatomy. Let’s start with the anatomical features of the male organs of rabbits. 

First, you might know the different organs of the male organ system of a rabbit. You will find the same organs in this system as you found in other animals. But the location and structure of few organs may vary. Major differences were found in the structure of the pen-(is) and testi-(cles) of rabbits. 

The scro-tuem is dividing into two parts and is located at the caudal inguinal region. Within the scrotal sacs, the rabbit reproductive glands (testis) are located. You will find it on the outside of the body wall, ventral and cranial to the an-eus. 

Again, there is a significant difference in the location and structure of rabbit copulatory organs. It locates to the anterior and ventral to the scrotal sac. The terminal part is forming a U-shaped structure that directs posteriorly. This organ is attached to the ischium bone by the crus pen-(is). 

So, you could understand that the glans of the pen-(is) are directed backward in a rabbit. The urethra opens dorsally and cranially on the glans. 

You will find the prostate, seminal and bulbourethral glands in the rabbit male organ system. The seminal vesicle is an elongated sac-like structure, and the tip of this sac is bifid. 

Rabbit anatomy female organs

There are two elongated ovaries along the dorsal wall and posterior to the kidney. You will find a slender flexuous fallopian tube in rabbit female anatomy. The uterus of a rabbit is a typical duplex type. It has the same parts –horns, body, and cervix as you found in other animals. 

The horn of the rabbit uterus is curve, narrow, and flexuous. It is a highly muscular structure, and that’s why the wall is thicker. In the internal structure of the horn, you will find few simple longitudinal folds. There are double cervical openings in the rabbit uterus. 

The va(g)zi-nya is the tubular posterior constitution of the genital tract of a rabbit that receives the right and left apparatus of the uterus anteriorly. 

You will find six to eight pairs of mammary glands located at the pectoral, abdominal, and inguinal regions of rabbits. 

You might like to read the detailed anatomy of an animal female organ system. Here, you will find the detailed anatomy of each organ from female animals. 

Heart of rabbit

The heart of the rabbit is conical shaped and located at the mediastinal cavity. In the external features of the rabbit heart, you will find the following – 

#1. Atria or auricles of the heart

#2. Ventricles, coronary arteries, and coronary veins

#3. Aorta and its branches

#4. The basian vein 

The arch of the aorta is strongly curved, and the left subclavian artery arises separately. Internally, you will find the following essential structures in the rabbit heart. 

#1. Intraarterial septum 

#2. Interventricular septum 

#3. Arterioventricular valves

#4. Chorde tendineae

#5. Papillary muscles of the heart 

#6. Semilunar valves of the heart 

There is a full guide on the anatomical structure of the animal heart here in anatomy learner. You might also learn the essential vessels from the rabbit’s circulatory anatomy

The skin of the rabbit is very soft and contains numerous sebaceous sweat glands. The hair of the skin is long and soft in a rabbit. But the hair of the tail is thick and soft. Claws of rabbits are elongated and curved downwards. 

You will find the detailed anatomy of different organ systems of rabbits or other animals in anatomy learner. Stay connected, and don’t forget to check the latest articles from anatomylearner. 

Rabbit anatomy labeled pictures.

I will try to update this rabbit anatomy guide with more labeled pictures regularly. You will get notified on social media of anatomy learner. So, you may follow anatomy learner on social media to get this notification

Again, if you interest in learning the anatomy of different animals, then check these related articles –

#1. Equine anatomy details guide

#2. Anatomy of dog with diagram 

#3. Bird anatomy with real pictures and diagram

Conclusion

This short guide might help you to know the basics of rabbit anatomy. It would be best if you learned the surface anatomy of the internal organs of rabbits

If you are a veterinary student, I would like to suggest you read the detailed anatomy of the rabbit skeleton, muscles, and internal organs. 

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