Science KS1 & KS2: How do rabbit babies live underground?

Chris Packham visits a man-made rabbit warren to see baby rabbits being born.

A scientist shows him how a thermal imaging camera detects heat instead of light and can be used to see which animals are the warmest.

He discovers that the kits (baby rabbits) have no fur when they are born, so they must huddle together to keep warm.

The mother rabbit feeds the kits with milk, just like all mammals.

Because it is warmest in the middle of the huddle, the kits change places to stay warm.

When the kits are older, they start to eat solid food; initially, their mother’s faeces, as this contains important bacteria that will help the kits to digest the tough plant material.

This clip is from the series The Burrowers.

Teacher Notes

This clip could be used as a stimulus when studying life cycles and the ways in which animals reproduce.

Remind pupils that all mammals, including humans, are initially fed on milk from their mothers.

As the baby mammals get older, they move towards a diet that makes use of the natural resources around them, such as grass for rabbits. But digesting grass is very hard, and special bacteria are needed by baby rabbits to help them.

What do humans need in their diet to stay healthy?

Curriculum Notes

This clip is relevant for teaching Science at KS1 and KS2 in England, Northern Ireland and Wales and at Early and 1st Level in Scotland.

More from The Burrowers:

How do badgers keep clean?
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How do badgers live underground?
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How have moles adapted to live underground?
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What is a rabbit warren like?
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How have water voles adapted to live near the water?
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