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Amami Rabbit, Japan (USNM 269083)
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The Smithsonian Institution’s Division of Mammals (http://vertebrates.si.edu/mammals/) houses many lagomorphs in its scientific collections.
This specimen, USNM 269083 (http://collections.nmnh.si.edu/search/mammals/?irn=7154788), is a female amami rabbit (Pentalagus furnessi) from Japan. This individual was collected in 1906 by N. Kuroda on Amami-Oshima Island. The amami rabbit inhabits two small islands, Amami-Oshima and Toku-no-Shima, near the southern coast of Japan living in both mature and young forests. Acorn availability provided by the dense, mature forests enables year round resources as well as protection from predators like the mongoose. The perennial grasses in the younger forests provide nutrition for their diet used at different times of the year. Forest clearing and commercial logging is unfortunately removing these habitats. Current surveys report approximately 5,000 specimens left on the two islands with only recent conservation acts like The Amami Wildlife Conservation Center, established in 1999, and a mongoose eradication program, established in 2005, to preserve these animals.
This is a CT scan of the cranium of USNM 269083. These three-dimensional scans are made publicly available through the generous support of the Smithsonian 2.0 Fund, provided from the annual gifts of the Smithsonian National Board to the Secretary to use at his discretion (http://smithsonian20.si.edu/fund.html), and the Smithsonian Collections Care and Preservation Fund.
The main goal of this joint initiative between the Human Origins Program and the Division of Mammals is to make the NMNH's scientific collections available in 3D for education and research.