Rabbits have many unique, charming features which their owners adore. Large ears, either straight up or floppy are a signature feature of the rabbit. Small, round, and furry tails are one feature we all think of when we think of a rabbit as well. However, one feature some are uncertain of when it comes to rabbits, is whiskers.
Do rabbits have whiskers?
Rabbits do have whiskers. Whiskers aid in measuring space for rabbits. This is useful when going through an area like a hole, doorway, or other passageway.
I will be discussing why rabbits have whiskers, as well as what they look like on a rabbit. I will also be covering some of the other senses that a rabbit has. Lastly, I will be covering ideas to remember related to a rabbit’s whiskers.
Why Do Rabbits Have Whiskers? Rabbits Have Whiskers Because They Are an Important Navigational Tool for Rabbits. Whiskers Enable Rabbits to Understand the Space Around them by Measuring the Area with Their Whiskers. If It Were Not for Whiskers, Rabbits Would be Running into Objects Because They Would Have a Hard Time Understanding Space.
Rabbits have whiskers on their mouth, nose, cheeks, as well as near their eyes. These whiskers play a huge role in the rabbit’s every day life.
The follicle edge of each whisker has sensory nerves, which allow the rabbit to have a clear perception of the world around them.
Although rabbits have large eyes with a wide range of vision, their eyes are not equipped with great depth perception. The rabbit also is limited in their ability to see objects that are close-up. This is why the whiskers are helpful in determining spatial relationships around them.
Similar to cats, a rabbit’s whiskers are the same length as their body’s width.
What Other Senses Are Important to the Rabbit, Besides Having Whiskers?
Since Rabbits Are Prey Animals, They Rely Heavily on Their Senses to Navigate the World Around Them. Rabbits Have Impeccable Hearing, Smell, Touch, Taste, and Vision. These All Aid in Their Natural Need to Evade Predators and Survive in the Wild.
A rabbit has a very large field of vision. Their eyes are located on the sides and upper part of their head. They also have large eyes. Each eye is capable of seeing more than one half of a circle.
Together the eyes can see in every direction. This is very beneficial for a rabbit because it enables them to see a predator approaching, while looking for a way to escape.
While rabbits do not have the best depth perception or ability to see close-up, they can register objects moving far in the distance. This provides rabbits the opportunity to see predators approaching with plenty of time to escape.
A rabbit’s most vital sense is hearing. This can be noted by a rabbit’s large ears. A rabbit’s auditory system is beneficial in detecting predators as well. Any issues perceiving depth are made up for with a rabbit’s ability to hear the acoustics so greatly.
Sound waves will bounce off objects which give the rabbit an idea of what their surroundings are like, even if they cannot visually take note.
Rabbits typically have large, erect ears which move back and forth as they are alert and are attempting to pinpoint the source of potential danger. If the rabbit is calm, their ears will usually lie flat and against their back. These will come right back up as a response to noise.
A rabbit’s hearing is much more developed than their vision.
Rabbits have a very keen sense of smell. Equipped with over 100 million scent cells, rabbits use their strong sense of smell to identify other rabbits and animals who may be predators. Their nasal membrane is sensitive to objects like perfumes, dust, and chemicals. These materials can cause problems for the upper respiratory system of a rabbit.
Rabbits have a far better sense of smell than humans do. The nose of a rabbit consists of moveable folds which assist with detecting scent. The motion of a rabbit moving their nose up and down is actually used to identify a scent. This behavior, which owners often find charming, is referred to as “nose blinking.”
A rabbit’s ability to taste is impeccable and is actually able to save them in the wild. Rabbits have 17,000 taste buds in their mouth and pharynx. This allows them to not only differentiate between plants which are toxic and non-toxic, but rabbits are able to taste the difference between sweet, sour, bitter, and salty foods.
Just as whiskers have several nerve endings aiding a rabbit in feeling where they are going, a rabbit’s entire body has sensitive nerve endings.
House rabbits do enjoy being pet, but it should be done in a way that is considerate of the rabbit. Since rabbits are easily frightened, they should not be approached from the back. When approaching your pet, try to move slowly since they are very sensitive to touch.
Being approached from behind or grabbed quickly reminds a rabbit of being attacked by a predator. This may cause your pet to react with a lunge or a bite.
What Should I Remember When it Comes to a Rabbit’s Whiskers?
It is Always Important to Remember to be Careful When Touching or Giving Attention to a Rabbit. Their Nerves Are Very Sensitive, and Rabbits Are Very Jumpy and Fearful by Nature. Rabbits are Also Incredibly Alert, So They Are Quick to React if They Feel They May be In Danger.
While rabbits do have very good senses, they are lacking in some areas. They lack when it comes to depth perception and up-close objects. This is why it is very important to remember these abilities when interacting with your pet.
If you suddenly get in your rabbit’s face, they may become startled since they struggle to see close objects. They may confuse you for a predator and react in the only way they see fit. This may be a lunge, a bite, or both.
This is not good for you or your pet. If you are consistently handling your pet wrong, they will begin to develop anxiety towards their living situation. As their owner, it is not enjoyable for you to be getting bitten and lunged at either!
Remember to move slowly with your pet so they are not shocked or frightened by a touch from you.
Along with remembering not to get into a rabbit’s face suddenly, never touch a rabbit’s back end, or reach for them from behind when they can’t see you. This can be seen as threatening and reminiscent of an attack from a predator.
Even if you are moving slowly, trying to pet a rabbit from behind should be avoided completely.
Rabbits Do Have Whiskers, and They Are More Important Than You May Have Realized. Whiskers Play a Huge Role in Navigation for a Rabbit, Especially at Night. While a Rabbit Has Impeccable Senses for the Most Part, They Are Lacking in Some Areas Which Makes Their Whiskers So Important.
Rabbits have amazing senses; from smelling, to hearing, to sight, and even touch. A rabbit is very well equipped to navigate the world around them as a prey animal.
Since rabbits do have such amazing senses, it is important to remember to be cautious when interacting with them. You do not want to be too abrupt and end up frightening them and getting bit in response!