Giant Bunny "King of Rabbits" Fossils Found on Island of Minorca

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Meike Köhler

The giant bunny fossils foundby researchers buried in red rock on the island of Minorca, Spain belong to a 26-pound Nuralagus rex, or "King of Bunnies" about six times the size of today's rabbits Livescience.com reports. That's one big bunny. And it could end up being Minorca's mascot.

This particular "rex" is no Tyrannosaurus though.

The Easter Bunny need not fear a comeback by the King, as the giant bunny lived 3 to 5 million years ago on the island, part of Spain's Balearic chain in the Mediterranean Sea.

The Spanish island of Minorca may be best known to tourists as the low-key beach cousin of Mallorca and Ibiza.

The creature likely grew in size because on the island it had a lack of predators. The giant bunny had smaller ears than modern rabbits and got so big it actually lost the ability to hop, scientists believe.

"I think that N. rex would be a rather clumsy rabbit walking - imagine a beaver out of water," paleontologist Josep Quintana of the Catalan Institute of Paleontology in Barcelona, Spain, tells LiveScience.

The scientist suggested the rabbit may make a good mascot for the island. We're not so sure. What's a bunny without it's hop? Sad, just sad. Do they really want an extinct, clumsy, non-hopping bunny for a mascot?

"I would like to use N. rex to lure students and visitors to Minorca," Quintana said.

It would appear they do. Keep an eye out for "King of Rabbits" giant bunny souvenirs on the next trip to Minorca.

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