March 30, 2018

The History of the Easter Bunny

Origins of the Easter Bunny: A Scientific Satire

By Jacklyn Walling

In a world full of ongoing scientific discoveries, there remains one facet of research seemingly lost in a foggy, cloud of ambiguity: the origin of the “Easter Bunny”.  Everyone knows his importance, but where did he originate? Around the world, children rely on this furry hopper once a year to leave a plethora of colored plastic eggs filled with chocolates and candies sweet enough to satisfy their cravings.  I even admit to anxious feelings Easter Eve in anticipation of being permitted a cereal of Cadbury Eggs with a side of large chocolate bunny loin.  Some may go for the ears, but by carcass weight alone, the loin gets more bang for the chocolate bunny.  It is not a hard decision.

As a young child, my only annual worry was whether or not the eggs left by Thumper for the traditional Egg Hunt would be found filled or shattered to plastic shavings courtesy of the neighborhood coons. Waking up to woodland critter ravaged chocolate-less eggs was quite a devastating Easter morning.  As a grown up, I am forced to ponder the origin of a traditionally male, featherless, egg-laying mammal.  After some careful research and a well-constructed study, I am thrilled to contribute my theory to the Journal of Animal Science.

Historically, rabbits symbolized fertility and are known to be one of the most prolific creatures on Earth.  The females have the capability of conceiving a second litter while pregnant with their first.  We may have to have a special edition of Junior Animal Scientist to explain that one to the kids! It’s no wonder the Easter Bunny can drop off eggs to millions of households in 24 hours, he's still on a high from last night's shenanigans.

giant-angora-668x501History.com says the exact origins of this mythical creature are unclear, but I certainly beg to differ. Last Easter, I was able to collect a tuft of fur left behind by the Easter Bunny and performed a DNA analysis.  The results showed the cottontail descending from aboriginal Giant Angora ancestors.  The resemblance is uncanny.           

                                                                                                                 (petguide.com)

professional-easter-bunny-adult-costume-bc-34363

Upon closer inspection of the genotype, there appeared a once in a lifetime mutational defect located on a gene influencing multiple phenotypic characteristics.  An SNP had morphed a nucleotide into a newly unheard of nucleic acid.  Not only was the change responsible for the abilities of the bunny to walk upright, lay colored eggs, and exhibit a mortality of zero percent, a whole new field in molecular genetics just opened!

                                                                                                                 (buycostumes.com)

Contrary to this study, History.com suggests the Easter Bunny is a mere mythical tale originating in the 1700s from German traditions.  German immigrants settled in Pennsylvania and passed on their ideas of Osterhase, an egg-laying hare, depositing eggs in the nests children made for Easter. 

Perhaps at this time, the data available is conflicting so until more research can be pursued, enjoy some articles dedicated to discovering more information about the beloved Easter Bunny’s relatives. 

Happy Easter!