How Many Bones Does a Rabbit Have?

The thick connective tissue known as bone provides structural support to keep all body organs in the correct position.

In vertebrates, this is the portion of the organ.

Phosphorus, calcium, and other minerals can be found in the bones. Both red and white blood cells are produced thanks to their assistance.

There Are Two Components to the Rabbit’s Skeleton

Skeletons that make up the axial skeleton may be found on either side of your body’s longitudinal axis, including the skull, the ribs, the vertebrae, and sternums. 

There are around 132 axial bones in the rabbit. The pectoral or the pelvic, shoulder girdle, and upper and lower body limbs are part of the appendicular skeleton. 

There are around 128 appendicular bones in rabbits and 126 in humans.

Rabbit Skeletal Parts 

Names of Bones

To summarize the rabbit’s skeleton, we have the following different types of bones:

  1. The scapula, skull, and spine
  2. The metatarsal and fibular bones
  3. The short and short phalanges
  4. The sacrum and ilium
  5. The vertebrae caudal 
  6. The calcaneus and short and long metatarsal bones
  7. The short and long phalanges
  8. The short and long metatarsal bones

Recovering from Paralysis

If your rabbit is suffering from paralysis, you can get help from your rabbit’s doctor, but many rabbits can scoot and drag themselves about independently. 

Taking care of a crippled rabbit needs additional effort, but it is doable.


Rough handling is more likely to damage the rabbit’s bones since its skeleton is less thick than a cat’s, accounting for only 7 to 8 percent of its body weight. 

When it comes to rabbits, gentleness is a must. It is pretty usual to break backs and dislocate limbs when you drop or embrace rabbit.


Rabbit skeletons contain 51 percent marrow, with two-thirds of it located in the flat bones and one-third in the long bones.

Healthy Eating and Physical Activity

Your rabbit’s skeleton will benefit from a well-balanced diet of fresh vegetables and regular exercise, just like your own.

How to Keep Your Rabbit Fit?

The amount of activity your rabbit receives is just as crucial as its nutrition for bone health. A rabbit’s bones might weaken severely if it doesn’t exercise and acquire strength. 

When rabbits’ hind legs are out of form, they might be powerful enough to injure their backs or break their bones.

Bone weakening and shattered bones can occur in young rabbits that don’t receive enough activity, and this risk persists as the animal grows older. 

For example, arthritis and osteoporosis, which weaken bones, are shared among the elderly.

Humans and rabbits are also susceptible to bone loss, which makes it crucial to ensure that your rabbit can build up bone strength while it can.

When feasible, let your rabbit out and let it hop around a while. Please reward it for exercising or consuming calcium-rich meals. Try to meet your rabbit’s varying nutritional requirements.

A fractured rib in your rabbit requires quick medical attention, so be sure to get it to a veterinarian. Make sure to be careful when you grab it.

You don’t want to inflict further agony on your rabbit by forcing the shattered bone against its internal organs or causing additional discomfort.

To make sure your rabbit is not underfed, you should give it a little more food if you can feel its ribs. Alternatively, if you can’t detect any ribs but simply ribs of fat, your rabbit is probably overweight.

If you take proper care of your rabbit’s bones and keep it active and healthy, it should live a long and healthy life.

Strong Bones

Rabbits’ ribs, like ours, require regular strengthening.

A shattered bone may be exceedingly painful and, in the wild, potentially lethal since it would interfere with their ability to hop away rapidly without discomfort, making them easy prey for predators. 

It is thus very critical for rabbits to ingest adequate calcium to keep their bones in excellent form.

Calcium-rich vegetables include okra, broccoli, and lettuce, while herb alternatives include alfalfa and parsley. 

On the other hand, dental problems indicate that your rabbit may not be getting enough vitamin D, which is essential for your rabbit’s bones. 

There may be an issue with bone formation if your rabbit’s teeth fall off or become irregular. A deficiency in calcium and activity can also cause osteoporosis. 

Furthermore, a lack of Vitamin D can impair bone formation and weaken the immune system, leaving patients more vulnerable to illness.

Features of the Skull

Among the notable features of the mammalian skull are:

A lengthy front facial region mainly houses the jaws and is short in the back since the brain’s size tends to grow. The face portion of higher animals is located below the cranial portion.

Second, the skull has a far smaller number of bones, and many of them have been fused so tightly that you may only discern their dividing borders via sutures.

A dicondylic skull has two occipital condyles. There is an occipital condyle attached to each of the exoccipitals. A vertical interorbital septum separates the two orbits in a tribasic skull.

The orbital area is not part of the cranium. The development of the palate, which consists of the maxillae, premaxilla, and palatines, separates the food channel from the nasal passage.

Cells of the Skeleton

Three distinct cell types carry out life and metabolic processes in the bone tissue. Blood arteries nourish the osteoblasts, osteocytes, and osteoclasts.

Stem cells that communicate with one another via small, interconnected extensions live inside the bone matrix and are known as osteocytes. 

These “mechano-receptors detect pressure changes in the bone matrix.” Osteoblasts are cells situated on the trabecular bone’s surface that generate and facilitate the calcification of the bone matrix. 

Specialized cell unions allow them to interact with each other and the matrix osteoclasts. Osteoclasts are multinucleated cells that break down bone. 

Initially, a reabsorption region is formed when they remove minor erosions from the bone trabeculae’s surface. Soluble mediators go from one bone cell to the next without any connection, yet they are still linked.

Growth of the Skeleton

In the beginning, ossification sites ensure the skeleton’s growth. By constantly replenishing the bone mass, the osteoblasts guarantee that the bones develop in diameter and thickness.

Osteoblasts are most active throughout a person’s formative years. The epiphyseal plate (more commonly known as conjugation cartilage) at each bone’s epiphysis causes the bone to grow in length. 

Within the epiphyseal plate “closes,” the conjugation cartilage vanishes, primarily due to the action of steroid hormones, about 140-150 days of age. 

Structural development begins at birth and continues through 5-6 weeks: the allometric coefficient a = 0.82.

As the rabbits become older, their skeletons cease growing at a rate that is around half that of the rest of their body weight. 

This occurs between the ages of 7 and 12 months, depending on the breed.

The Ribs of a Rabbit

Rabbits have 24 ribs organized in 12 pairs to answer our title question. They are referred to as “real sets” because of the costal cartilage that connects the ribs in the first seven. 

False sets are ribs that aren’t linked to the rest of the animal. Because of their physical similarities to humans, rabbits are frequently used in dissections in biology classes.

The 11th and 12th pairs of ribs are referred to as “floating ribs” because they are not connected to the sternum. These bones aren’t connected by cartilage; instead, they’re anchored to the spinal vertebrae.

This is also the weakest section of a rabbit’s ribcage because of the absence of connection between them.


You may find quadriceps and hamstring muscles in the rear limb of the rabbit.

The rear legs of rabbits contain three primary parts: the thigh, leg, and foot, which all work together to provide maximum power, agility, and acceleration.

Rabbits’ rear limbs are disproportionately long, and they can exert more power. A rabbit’s best stride is achieved by running on its toes.

Both the tibia and fibula’s anatomical structure and their muscular properties go a long way toward explaining the power generated by the rear limbs.

Bone development and removal may be traced back to the muscles of the rear limbs, at least from a cellular perspective.

Muscles exert pressure on the skeleton, which transfers the force to the rest of the body. Due to bone rarefaction, certain rabbits are more susceptible to osteoporosis.

Muscles in rabbits with more fibers are more fatigue-resistant. Hares, in contrast to cottontails, have a higher tolerance for weariness. 

The quadriceps, hamstrings, dorsiflexion, and plantar flexors of the rabbit’s hind limbs can be divided into four primary groups. When you leap, your muscles generate power. 

The hamstrings, which help in quick bursts of movement, are an essential part of these muscles.

In the same manner that the plantar dorsiflexion and flexors contribute to the creation and movements connected with force, these muscles play off each other.

Wrapping Up 

More minor in bulk, the skeletons of rabbits and other small domestic animals are more flexible and less rigid than those of cats and other somewhat more giant domestic mammals. 

Rabbit skeletons are more brittle than feline skeletons, making treating your bunnies with care even more critical.

Putting rabbits on a surface where they may fall from a considerable height is not recommended. It’s also important not to press them into a small area, resulting in dislocated limbs, shattered bones, etc.

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