Everyone has heard about the Easter Bunny. Yes, that is right. The Easter Bunny is that merry rabbit that is said to come out every Easter Sunday to scatter eggs everywhere, and it is up to the children to find those eggs. But where do those eggs come from, and why does the Easter Bunny have them? Does that necessarily mean that rabbits lay eggs, which gave rise to the legend of the Easter Bunny scattering eggs?
To be honest, there are plenty of people, for one reason or another, who actually believe that rabbits do lay eggs. You might even want to admit that the idea of a rabbit laying eggs does not sound as weird as it actually does. But if you actually listened to your grade school science classes, you would know that this is a question that does not even need any answering.
Rabbits do not lay eggs
If we want to go straight to the meat of things, we have to go to the very fact that rabbits are not like birds. Do not let the Easter Bunny legend fool you because you have to know that rabbits do not lay eggs. For a lot of kids and even for some adults, this can be a surprise, but this actually the hard truth that remains to be something that is difficult to grasp for them.
Rabbits, as you might already know, are grouped under the Mammalia class. What that means is that these small and furry creatures are mammals. Like any mammals, rabbits have the characteristics that made them members of that class of animals. They have warm blood, hair and fur on the body, fat secreting glands, different types of teeth, endothermic vertebrates, and plenty of other characteristics that belong only to mammals.
Another characteristic that is quite common among mammals (save for a few species of mammals) is that they do not lay eggs. Instead, mammals give birth to live young. The baby mammals come straight out of their mother, similar to how humans, which are considered mammals, give birth to babies that come out of their wombs.
In that case, rabbits are just the same as any other regular mammal in the sense that they are known to give birth to live young. And what you have to know is that they actually give birth at an alarming rate and may produce plenty of baby rabbits in a span of a single year if the female rabbits are always close to their male counterparts. In fact, if left unchecked and unbalanced, a single female rabbit can give birth to about 184 billion baby rabbits in a span of seven years.
That all means that rabbits are at the top of the ladder when it comes to producing and giving birth to live young. They should be the last animals you would actually consider to lay eggs. In other words, thinking of a rabbit as an egg-laying animal is too farfetched of thought as long as you actually listened to your basic grade school science classes. Or, if your parents allowed you to take care of two rabbits—a male and a female—back when you were still a child, you would have been a witness to how they do not lay eggs but actually give birth to live young at a crazy and alarming rate that can be difficult to monitor and prevent.
You can clearly see in this video that the mama rabbit was able to give birth to a large batch of baby bunnies.
Why do some people believe that rabbits lay eggs?
Now that we have already cleared the fact that rabbits do not lay eggs and are animals that give birth to live young at an alarming rate, we have to know why there are still people who actually believe in the notion that they do lay eggs instead of giving birth to live baby rabbits that come straight out of the mama bunny. Well, we have to go back to our good old friend, the Easter Bunny.
The Easter Bunny, eggs, and the entire season of Lent all play a role in making some people believe that rabbits lay eggs. If you are a Christian, you would know for certain that Easter Sunday is the most important day for Christianity because that was when Jesus Christ was said to have risen after he died on the cross on Good Friday. Jesus Christ and Easter Sunday are not exactly close to the notion of what an Easter Bunny is and do not exactly relate to eggs, but there is still a connection that history is kind enough to tell us.
It all started when eggs were not originally allowed during Lent or Holy Week because of how Christians were asked to stay away from any meat products. Because of that, the eggs that were laid by chickens during the Holy Week were not eaten but were instead decorated and given to children as gifts. As time passed, the Church began to adopt this tradition and started making egg-shaped structures that were filled with gifts such as chocolates. It came to a point in 19th century Europe that the eggs were actually made out of chocolate.
So, where does the Easter Bunny come into this picture?
We have discussed the fact that rabbits give birth to live young at a pace that seems to be unmatched by any other mammal. As such, people of the 19th century began to adopt the notion that rabbits are a symbol of new life due to how quick they are to multiply their numbers. This eventually connected to how Easter is considered the day for us to celebrate our new life because that is the day when Jesus Christ resurrected. Finally, the celebration of Easter Sunday eventually got tied up with rabbits and gave birth to the Easter Bunny, which is a rabbit that decorates and hides the eggs that are popular gifts at the end of the Holy Week.
Are there mammals that lay eggs?
While we have already debunked the belief that rabbits lay eggs while connecting it to the legend of the Easter Bunny, there is still one question that remains to be unanswered: do mammals lay eggs? And if the answer is yes, are there actually mammals that still lay eggs?
To answer that, we have to introduce a special group of mammals called monotremes. These are the mammals that lay eggs. There are currently two animals that belong to that classification: the platypus and the echidna. Currently, there are only one species of platypus discovered. Meanwhile, there are up to four types of echidna existing today. Such animals are the only mammals that actually lay eggs instead of giving birth to live young.
All that said, it is safe to say that rabbits are not egg-laying animals and are mammals that give birth to live young. The entire notion that rabbits lay eggs can be tied to the existence of the legend of the Easter Bunny, whose myth is simply a good mixture of traditional Christian beliefs and the rabbit’s nature of giving birth at an alarmingly quick rate. So the next time a child comes up and says out loud that rabbits lay eggs, you can easily correct the kid by telling him a nice story about mammals and how rabbits became tied up with the entire celebration of Easter.