Genetic mutation causes rabbits to adorably do handstands instead of hop

HERE’S a bunny who bucks the usual practice of hopping from place to place — by walking on its front paws.

The sauteur d’Alfort breed, also known as the Alfort Jumping Rabbit, is incapable of back leg bounds.


Scientists discovered a genetic mutation in Alfort Jumping Rabbits[/caption]


It means the bunnies aren’t able to hop so walk on their front paws instead[/caption]

Scientists have now discovered the reason and it’s down to a single gene in the nervous system of the rabbit.

A mutation in the gene prevents the spinal cord from co-ordinating limbs to hop.

Miguel Carneiro, from the Universidade do Porto in Portugal and colleagues in Sweden made the finding.


It is only when the rabbits go faster by jumping that they over-flex their rear legs[/caption]

He said that, at a slow walk, the rabbits are indistinguishable from others.

However, when they try to go faster by jumping, they over-flex their rear legs — and at the wrong time.

So when it comes to running they’re hop-less.