Rabbit’s eyes are located on the sides of the head, rather than directly in front, with each eye having a 190 degree field of vision. This allows the Rabbit to see anything that approaches it from the back or sides. This a benefit for rabbits, since they are prey to many animals. Because their eyes are set on the sides of their head, they have a blind spot directly under their nose. they rely on their sharp sense of smell to find food. this is why your Rabbit may be startled when you try to pet his nose, he can’t see you and it scares him. If you reach to pet his nose, go slowly so he has time to smell and identify you so he won’t be scared.
Their eyes are eight times more sensitive to light than our eyes. Rabbits feed in the early morning and late evening, so they evolved to be able to see more easily during this time. Their ability to see in very dim light helps them to escape predators while they are feeding.
Another cool rabbit Fact is their long ears are important for gathering sounds and determining where the sound came from. Lop-eared buns are almost equally able to locate the source and identify a sound as a bun with erect ears.
Rabbit’s ear are not only for hearing, but also for heat regulation. Their ears make up 12 percent of their total body surface area, allowing them to release heat when they are too hot. Rabbits don’t well in very hot climates, so they need their ears to help them when it’s hot. Rabbits cannot pant to release heat; they have only one pair of sweat glands located in their lips. Therefore, they rely on their ears for the majority of heat loss in their bodies.
Rabbit’s ears have a large number of blood vessels, making them very sensitive to touch. Regardless of the numerous cartoons showing rabbits being pulled out of a hat by their ears, doing this to a Rabbit can hurt him and may cause serious injury to his back.
Here’s an unknown rabbit fact: A Rabbit can only breathe through it’s nose, so you will never see a panting Rabbit. They also have a very keen sense of smell which allows them to identify food below their nose, which is useful because they cannot see directly under their nose. Illnesses that cause your rabbit to be congested can be hard on them. They can’t breathe if their nose is clogged, so it is important to take him to the vet quickly so he can start to breathe easily again.
Teeth are a very important part of a Rabbit’s anatomy. They are needed to break down course fiber such as hay, bark, and hard vegetables to a size that is easily digested. The front teeth of a Rabbit are called incisors. They have two pair of incisors on top and one pair on the bottom. The first pair of incisors on the top are the two big teeth you see when you examine your Rabbit’s mouth. The second pair are behind the top front teeth and are called peg teeth. Peg teeth are very small and are hidden behind the larger front incisors.
Lagomorphs, which is the scientific name for rabbits, have peg teeth, whereas rodents such as rats do not. Rodents only have one pair of incisors on top. Lagomorphs also have enamel on their teeth, whereas rodents don’t. That’s why rabbits teeth are so beautiful and are depicted as white in pictures, such as Bugs Bunny. Like rodents, rabbit’s teeth continually grow. Rabbits keep their teeth trimmed by grinding the bottom teeth against the top teeth. It is also helpful to give your rabbit chew toys to help him keep his teeth trim and fit.
Malocclusion, or crooked teeth, is a condition where the rabbits teeth do not meet to grind the opposite teeth down. It is a genetic problem, and sometimes it is caused by trauma or infection. Malocclusion can result in your rabbit not being able to eat, and this can cause serious digestive problems for your rabbit. This is a condition that needs veterinary attention. Treatment includes periodic teeth trimming or teeth removal. Trimming requires a vet visit about every 4-6 weeks. To remove the teeth, every tooth cell must be removed in order for the tooth extraction to be permanent. Ask your vet how many of their tooth extraction operations result in regrowth of the incisors. If it is high, find another vet to do the operation.
The digestive tract of a rabbit is designed to digest dry hay and grass, fruits, vegetables, and other leafy items, things that humans could not digest. Rabbits have a stomach and intestines similar to humans, but they have an additional digestive organ called the cecum. The cecum is about 10 times larger than the stomach, making it the largest organ in the digestive tract. It breaks down cellulose and other components in hay and grass. The cecum does this by a process called fermentation.
Using her sharp incisors, a rabbit will take a bite of hay, chewing it up into small shreds with her molars. The hay is then swallowed and enters the stomach. A rabbit’s stomach always has some food present, whether she has eaten in the past 24 hours or not. Due to a thick ring in the esophagus that only allows food to go one way into the stomach, rabbits cannot vomit. When a rabbit eats something bad, such as carpeting, it can cause blockage in the digestive tract that can only be removed through surgery. Veterinarians who require you to fast your bun before surgery should not be used, get a new vet who knows more about rabbits.
Partially digested food passes from the stomach to the intestines, passing out of the small intestines to the cecum. While the stomach and intestines digest simple sugars, the cecum breaks down the hay and pellets using bacterial organisms. These bacteria also provide the rabbit with important vitamins.
The cecum also produces cecotropes, or “night feces”. These are very soft poops that are joined in a cluster much like a bunch of grapes, held together with a mucus coating. They are eliminated in the early morning and are immediately eaten by the rabbit. It is essential that your rabbit does this as important vitamins and nutrients are present in the cecotropes made by the cecal bacteria. Wire bottom cages do not catch this dropping, making it hard for rabbits who live in these cages to get sufficient nutrition.
Running and dodging threats are a rabbit’s specialty, lending their agility to their very light weight skeleton and powerful hind legs. The hind legs are longer than the front legs, making them the primary contributor to power while the front legs are used for direction. Rabbits have a very high running speed, but cannot sustain a full run for very long. Their main method of escape is fast runs in various directions, in the hopes to evade their pursuer before it is too late.
If a rabbit is improperly picked up or held, injury to the back or hind legs can occur. When being picked up, rabbits are often scared so they instinctively kick violently. This can result in a broken back. Therefore, the hind legs should always be supported securely.