One of my photos

Tell me about the rabbits George!

July 6th, 2007 · Posted by Skuds in Life · 4 Comments · Life

One of my little pleasures in life, and a favourite part of my daily routine, is seeing the rabbits on the roundabout near my workplace every morning. The roundabout is on a busy road with buildings all around it and I reckon therefore that its very likely the rabbits live on that roundabout and stay there in a sort of of self-contained ecosystem – certainly they wouldn’t get very far if they tried to get off.

Some days only a couple of rabbits are to be seen, but on other days there are too many bunnies to count and I started to wonder how much space is needed to support a single rabbit because it struck me as a very small area to sustain such a large number.

Eventually my curiosity got the better of me and I tried doing some rough calculations, and the results were quite surprising – at least to me.

First of all I had to measure the roundabout. I wasn’t going to do anything as dangerous as trying to cross onto it to actually measure it, and was going to try estimating it but then hit on the idea of using the Google Maps aerial photographs to measure it. According to the scale on there, the roundabout is about 150 feet across, which was the first surprise. I’m so glad I didn’t try estimating as I would never have thought it was that large – although I am assuming the scale is correct. Looking at the aerial photos the roundabout by Astral Towers has a diameter roughly 70% that of the Tushmore roundabout if I had previously had to guess I would have said the Tushmore was twice the size at least.

Next I tried to remember the maths for working out the area of the roundabout and came up with 17,671 square feet. (Is that right?) Maths can be so counter-intuitive can’t it? The bit of land enclosed by the road there seems like a tiny scrap really, but its actually 17,671 square feet (unless I cocked up with the calculator) which sounds huge.

Now to divide that area by the rabbit population, and here I really did have to guess. The most rabbits I have managed to count at one time is 18, but the buggers do move about a bit and the roundabout has trees and bushes on it so you can’t see all the open bits at once. I assumed that there had to be more than I could count and rounded it up a little to 20. The population could be even larger than that, but will not be smaller.

That gave me a figure of 884 square feet per rabbit, which is the same as an area almost 30 ft by 30ft. I started off thinking that the rabbits were crowded together in a tiny space, but actually they have the equivalent of a couple of decent-sized one-bedroom flats each.

Now I am convinced I must have gone wrong somewhere… but if I haven’t, please don’t tell any of the rapacious developers around here that you could squeeze 40+ one-bedroom flats onto a roundabout because they would probably go ahead and try it if they thought they could squeeze £6m worth of apartments onto one little roundabout. And then where would the bunnies live?

Now perhaps some clever clogs can tell me where I have gone wrong. Any scientifically-minded brothers-in-law out there who fancy showing me up?

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4 Comments so far ↓

  • Hiro

    Well the calculated area is correct.

  • Reidski

    Like you did with those people who tried to blow up nightclubs and airports last week, you are now doing here with your mistaken first impressions. Those, matey, are not rabbits, but are agents of the British and US secret services, put on that roundabout to divert attention away from their plots to subvert our democratic traditions.

    Err, I’ll get my coat …

  • Skuds

    Reidski – I have long suspected those rabbits of underground activity!

    Hiro – nice to know. Even though I double-checked, the results came out so far from what gut feeling would have been that I found them hard to believe.

  • skud's sister

    Unless they are all little boy rabbits there are probably more than twenty by now….