Paleontologists Discover Enormous Ancient Island RabbitS

What is happening in the field of paleontology, these days? Oh, not much. Besides finding the actual bones of the Easter Bunny on its ancient island kingdom of Minorca, that is!

[...] the skeleton of a giant rabbit has been discovered, one that was once about six times the size of today's bunnies.

The fossils of the giant were discovered on the island of Minorca off the coast of Spain, a fact reflected in the rabbit's scientific name, Nuralagus rex, "the Minorcan king of the rabbits."

When the bunny lived approximately 3 million to 5 million years ago, it weighed about 26 pounds (12 kilograms), about six times the size of the living European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus).

If you are anything like we are, you probably called your agent when you heard "ancient, gigantic bunny" and told her to "get you some meetings" because you had "a killer concept." (She was probably all "I told you to stop calling here.") But as you can see from the above photo, provided by a caveman photographer, Nuralagus rex was not hideous and terrifying: In fact, it hilarious-looking, and probably died of total embarrassment. Also, it was a terrible animal:

"I think that N. rex would be a rather clumsy rabbit walking - imagine a beaver out of water," [paleontologist Josep] Quintana said. The giant probably also had poor hearing and vision, with relatively small eye sockets and internal ear parts... it probably lacked another key trait often associated with rabbits - long ears. The bunny likely sported relatively small ears for its size.

Ah, well. Maybe it tasted good.

[LiveScience]