Wednesday, April 14, 2021

A gene defect may make rabbits do handstands instead of hop

 rabbit standing on front paws

Sauteur d'Alfort is a domesticated rabbit that is said to walk on its front paws having its hind legs up in a handstand position. Experts say that it may have a connection to that of a gene tied to limb movement. The mutation in the gene is known as RORB, and is said to not only occur in rabbit genes, but mice "handstand" when they begin to run. The article states that knowing more information about why the rabbit moves in such a way can help them better understand how the spinal cord works. Researchers have found that there is less RORB protein in the specialized nerve cells in rabbits that have the mutation as opposed to those that do not. 

I found this to be amazing! Genetics itself is an amazing part of science and seeing what certain things in the genetic makeup and things like mutations can cause in both humans and animals is awesome. I always thought it was cool and funny when I saw a dog walk on its hind-legs like a human, but a rabbit on its front paws in a handstand position? Now that is amazing. 


  1. This is actually so cool! I wish I could walk outside my house and see a rabbit doing a hand stand especially since I cant even do one. It is interesting how there are mutations that can effect animals in these kinds of ways.

  2. This was an interesting read since I never thought this could actually happen! It definitely makes me want to read up on this topic more!

  3. This is such a sweet find! An article about a mutation such as this is kinda rare since most research concerning mutations talk about the bone structure or color changes of an animal. But to find one about a mutation that affects the way an animal like the rabbit's way of walking is unique. Do you think the rabbit runs or hops in the same matter? Or do you think their hind legs are in the air longer than average compared to a rabbit that's unaffected?