Excerpt from the book Animals Evolution Avoided. This book describes 40 animals that ought to exist but don’t, because I made them up.
In the interglacial periods of the last 2.5 million years, strange animals lived for short periods of time, before dying out when the next glacial period, or Ice Age, occurred. These animals are only known because of the fossil record they have left.
One such animal that palaeontologists have recently discovered in East Anglia is The Nutter Rabbit. This animal is so called because of its prominent forehead, large front teeth, and sharp projections on its feet, indicating the presence of long claws. This animal was around twice the size of a domestic rabbit and had very short fur. It was not at all fluffy and damage to the front part of the animal’s skull in a large number of their skeletons indicates a propensity for butting. It’s believed these rabbits died out once the glaciers returned and all the vegetation of the area was killed off by the cold temperatures.
Scientists believe these rabbits were hunters, who searched for vegetables and dug them up with their front paws. They would also have been able to strip bark from trees and perhaps even climb those trees to look for items to eat. Indeed, it’s entirely possible that these rabbits lived in the trees as their claws would have been strong enough to support their body weight on long climbs up the trunks of trees.
Where these rabbits would have been completely different from their modern counterparts, was their ability to defend themselves. These Nutter Rabbits would have head-butted any potential attacker with quite a force and their extremely sharp claws would have drawn blood easily.