Getting and owning a rabbit can be a great and fun experience for individuals and families alike. Rabbits have different physical features, including powerful hind legs, large and expressive eyes, and long ears.
If you are thinking of getting a rabbit as a pet, or you already have one, one of the main questions that are likely running through your mind is, “do rabbits have good hearing senses?”
Do Rabbits Have Good Hearing Sense?
Rabbits have good hearing senses and in fact, use these senses as a major means of defence against predators, particularly in the wild. The ears of a rabbit do not only help it escape predators, but it also helps the animal to search for food, as a rabbit is also a predator.
How Good Is A Rabbit’s Hearing Sense?
A rabbit’s sense of hearing is one of its vital ones, and it is very essential in helping the animal to avoid danger. Wild rabbits tend to hear sounds better than their domestic counterparts. This makes sense, considering that they usually face a larger number of predators and they also need to be able to catch prey to feed on if they are to survive. However, this does not mean that domestic rabbits do not have good hearing too.
The hearing sense of all rabbits, whether domestic or wild, is the most advanced of all their senses, and it is far better than that of humans. Despite their small sizes relative to humans and many other animals, both domestic and wild rabbits can hear better than many animals that are far larger than they are.
What Are The Functions Of Rabbit Ears?
A bunny’s ears have two major functions. The first one, which is the obvious one, is to enable the animal to hear sounds. Rabbits ears are large, and with the way they are made, they enable the animal to hear sounds from any direction if it turns any of the ears in that direction. Apart from the largeness of a rabbit’s ears, the fact that each one can turn independently of the other makes the animal’s hearing crystal clear.
A rabbit’s ears have another function of helping the animal to cool off, by releasing heat from its body. Rabbits are different from humans in this aspect, as humans cannot move their ears separately, neither do they cool down their bodies through their ears.
How Clearly And Far Can A Rabbit Hear?
A rabbit’s hearing is between 360Hz to 42000Hz. This is much better when compared to that of a human, which is between 64Hz to 23,000 Hz. If you study your rabbit carefully, you will notice that its ears will perk up now and then, indicating that it can pick up some sounds, even when you do not hear any sounds.
A rabbit can hear sounds which are as far as 2 miles away. This means that they can hear the sounds that humans can hear and even other ones that humans cannot hear. For example, rabbits can hear some electrical and mechanical sounds that humans cannot hear.
They can also hear slight sounds that are far away from where they are. If a rabbit is alert, its ears will perk up straight, moving forward and backwards while the animal attempts to locate the source of danger or a predator. Depending on the rabbit breed, some can hear sounds more clearly than others can, but they all still have better hearing senses than humans do.
What Are Some Other Rabbit Senses Apart From Hearing?
Rabbits have different senses that help them to evade predators and danger. Apart from the sense of hearing, others include smell, taste, sight and touch.
The sense of smell
A rabbit’s sense of smell is vital to its survival, especially in the wild. It helps the animal to notice danger and predators, and run away from them. A rabbit’s sense of smell is more acute than a human’s own, as it has more than 50 million receptor cells in its nose, compared to a human’s nose which has just six million receptor cells.
Bunnies smelling senses also help them to sniff out food, a mate, or a companion. You will notice your pet’s nose twitching and moving up and down if it is sniffing out something.
The sense of sight
Rabbits have a wide field of vision, and this is another thing that helps them to survive. They have large eyes that can see in every direction. The eyes are located in a strategic position that is, on the sides and upper part of their heads. This means that just like a rabbit’s ears can hear in every direction, its eyes can also see in all directions.
It can see far above its head and can see almost 360 degrees. Therefore, if it notices a predator coming, it will be able to scan for an escape route while simultaneously keeping its eyes on the threat. However, their sights are not as good up close as it is from when they see things from far away.
The sense of taste
Bunnies have lots of taste buds, about 17000 of them in their mouth and pharynx. A rabbit’s sense of taste also helps to keep it alive as it will be able to distinguish between toxic and non-toxic plants, particularly in the wild.
This trait of distinguishing between toxic and non-toxic plants is not as developed in domestic rabbits as it is in their wild counterparts. Therefore, as a domestic rabbit owner, you should make a research on the type of plants or food that will be toxic to your pet before you feed any new food to it.
Rabbits have excellent hearing senses, with their hearing sense much more developed than that of humans and many other animals. This enables them to hear when a predator is coming and take cover.
A rabbit uses its ears, together with other body parts like its eyes, tongue and nose to know if there is danger and avoid it accordingly.