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.

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

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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.

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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.