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Fossil find reveals a giant rabbit that dug for a living

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3:53pm, April 1, 2011

It may not be Harvey (it’s visible), but paleontologists have found fossils of a giant rabbit — the largest ever described — on the Mediterranean island of Minorca.

Three to 5 million years ago, a rabbit species there grew about half a meter high with an estimated weight of 12 kilograms (about 26 pounds), researchers report in the March Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. Six times the size of today’s wild European rabbit, the hefty extinct species outweighed not only all known rabbits, but all species in the broader group of rabbits, hares and pikas, say paleontologist Josep Quintana Cardona of Minorca and his colleagues.

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