Oldest Fossil Lagomorph on Display to Commemorate Year of the Rabbit

On Thursday, 3rd February to mark the Chinese New Year, we put up an article about prehistoric rabbits, just a snippet in recognition that according to the Chinese astrological calender, this was the start of the year of the rabbit.

At the time we professed that none of the Everything Dinosaur team members knew anything about rabbits and their ancestors in the fossil record.

To view this article: Rabbits and the Chinese New Year.

We did not think it would be long before a Chinese museum or research institute put a fossilised lagomorph on display to mark the year of the rabbit, and sure enough, shortly afterwards, we were told of a Eocene Epoch rabbit skull going on display last week, to mark this special occasion in the Chinese New Year.

The fossil is a beautifully skull and jaws of a prehistoric rabbit dating from approximately 54 million years ago.  It is on display at the Palaeozoological Museum of China in Beijing.

Fossil Lagomorph

The fossil was discovered three years ago in the Eren Basin region.  It represented a new species of lagomorph, the oldest known in the fossil record.  It was formally named and described as Dawsonlagus antiquus.  The Chinese exhibition celebrates the rabbit in China’s culture and traces the origins and evolution of the rabbit family.  So if you want to see the earliest known ancestor of Bugs Bunny hop over to Beijing.

To view models and replicas of prehistoric animals made by the Chinese company PNSO: PNSO Age of Dinosaurs Models and Figures.