Till recently the rabbit has generally been known scientifically as Lepus cuniculus, but it is now frequently regarded, at least by systematic naturalists, as the representative of a genus by itself, under the The Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus).
name of Oryctolagus cuniculus.
Little doubt exists amongst naturalists that all the varieties of the domestic animal are descended from Oryctolagus cuniculus.
Blyth long ago proposed the name Caprolagus for the remarkable spiny rabbit of the western Himalayas, while the generic name Oryctolagus was suggested later for the rabbit, and Sylvilagus for the American "cotton-tails"; but none of these was accorded general acceptation.
In 1899 Dr Forsyth Major proposed a classification of the family in which a number of species were grouped with the spiny rabbit in the genus Caprolagus, whilst Oryctolagus was taken to include not only the common rabbit, but likewise the Cape hare.
Under the name of Oryctolagus cuniculus, the rabbit is considered to represent a genus by itself, specially characterized by the shortness of the ears and hind-feet.
The word usage examples above have been gathered from various sources to reflect current and historial usage. They do not represent the opinions of YourDictionary.com.