Here in south central Arizona, we have a plethora of creatures. Two of the more common are roadrunners and rabbits, but the clear winner is rabbits.
Lately, it would seem, there’s been a significant number of road fatalities related to a sudden proclivity for two rabbits to chase each other into the roadway. My first suspicion was the most obvious one, the mating ritual. Thus, I assumed most of the fatalities were males fighting over territory and the resident females.
Out of curiosity, I looked up rabbit breeding season. Turns out, while there is a tendency to breed in fall and give birth in winter, the season is flexible.
Couple of things I didn’t know. Rabbits reach sexual maturity (depending on the breed) in as little as 3 months. Most by six months. Another interesting fact, the females are the most territorial. And, like another warm-blooded creature I know, the female decides when mating occurs.
There is an obvious similarity in what rabbits and humans consider reproductive rights.
While no noticeable jewelry or other incentives are involved in this randy rabbit rodeo, I am sure, like the males of every species, they do something to improve the odds.
So based on this research, and since determining the gender of rabbits by external exam of a squashed specimen is challenging, I am still convinced that most of the roadkill is male rabbits.
It is a well-known phenomenon across almost the entire animal kingdom—and I suspect the entire universe—that males lack sufficient biological resources to power their brains and reproductive organs simultaneously. Thus, in the frenzy of winning the attention of females and perhaps intimidated by the fierce territorial protectiveness of the object of their affection, they recklessly run into traffic. Either eluding the female rejecting them or because they simply don’t have any idea where they are or the danger they’ve put themselves in.
Nor do they care.
All they can “think” about is achieving success. Dying for it is nature’s way of weeding out those unworthy of reproducing.