Rabbits are adorable, playful, and among the most simple and sweet creatures in the world. On the surface, it never seems like there’s more to them besides mating, burrowing holes, and chomping on carrots.
These furry playmates are no strangers to underestimation, but if you ever get one as a pet, you’ll find rabbits are actually quite smart. And they have some of the coolest adaptations for survival. It’s no wonder that they breed faster than mice. Here are some fun facts about rabbits with long ears.
10 Fun Facts You Should Know About Rabbits With Long Ears
#1. Rabbits Can Rotate Their Ears 180°
Rabbits have long ears for two major reasons.
First, and this one might be obvious, but it’s to help them sense danger and detect predators in their surroundings. They can rotate their ears 180 degrees to sense danger coming from all directions. Some rabbits can rotate their ears up to 270 degrees, offering them the best surveillance of the area.
Second, and this is a lesser-known fact about rabbits, their long ears function as thermoregulators. If you ever look closely into a rabbit’s ears, you’ll notice a series of blood vessels. They provide a large surface area for heat exchange to take place.
#2. They Live a Long Time
According to Bluecross, the average domesticated rabbit has a lifespan of 12 years. And they can live longer if they’re provided with the right diet, suitable housing, and companionship. It’s a general rule that rabbits raised indoors live as much as 5 times longer than outdoor rabbits.
#3. They Can’t Live Off Carrots
There’s a common misconception that rabbits can live entirely on carrots. The truth is, while rabbits do certainly love carrots, they cannot live off them. Carrots make a good occasional treat but they’re high in sugar, so should only be eaten in moderation by rabbits. It’s okay to feed your rabbit a few nibbles of carrot every day as long as it’s healthy, but too much would cause blood sugar problems.
Contrary to popular belief, rabbits in the wild do not eat fruits or vegetables. Rather, their primary diet consists of weeds, grass, hay, clovers, wildflowers, and a few vegetable plants. If you’re planning to raise a rabbit, you should consider purchasing rabbit pellets that include all the nutrients rabbits need to stay healthy, or you could just feed them hay.
#4. They Can’t Vomit
Did you know that rabbits, along with all other rodents like squirrels, gophers, beavers, and mice, are physically incapable of vomiting? The physiology of their digestive system is such that they can never throw up.
Rabbits have a thick and strong sphincter that blocks the passage between their esophagus and stomach, making it impossible for the stomach juices to reach their throat. Anything a rabbit eats will have to pass through its digestive system and go out through the back exit. This makes it incredibly dangerous for rabbits when they get digestive blockages or poisoning.
#5. Rabbits Love Company
Another fun fact about rabbits with long ears — they are incredibly social animals that need to form companionships with members of their own species. That’s why it is necessary to own rabbits in pairs, or they won’t be happy or healthy. If you’re ever planning to purchase pet rabbits, a neutered male and a neutered female would be the best choice.
#6. Their Teeth Never Stop Growing
Rabbits’ teeth and nails never stop growing. This is why it’s imperative to give rabbits hay and other things to chew on, so they can keep filing their own teeth. Otherwise, they’ll just keep growing, which can cause painful dental problems to the rabbit.
#7. They’re Pretty Clean
Little known fact — rabbits are meticulously clean and don’t even require bathing as often as cats. They enjoy grooming themselves and cleaning each other. They also like their toilet area to be separate from their feeding or sleeping area. It’s important that you clean your rabbit’s cage regularly, or your rabbit can get pretty depressed.
#8. Their Vision Covers Nearly 360 Degrees
Did you know those large protruding round eyes don’t miss a thing? They have a 360-degree field of vision, which is believed to be an adaptation to watch out for predators. Rabbits can also see directly behind them without turning their head at all, including the area above their head. Rabbits only have one blind spot, which is located right in front of their noses.
#9. They Are Really Good Jumpers
Rabbits are excellent sprinters and jumpers. Their back legs are shaped and positioned in a way that propels them forward at a rapid pace. On average, rabbits can jump over 3 feet, although there have been anecdotal reports suggesting it’s much higher than that.
#10. Their Ears Help Them Stay Cool
Rabbits with long ears have blood vessels inside their ears that contract and expand in response to the climate to either keep rabbits warm or cool. The large surface area also allows those blood vessels to catch the breeze and cool down their blood. Rabbits are not very tolerant of heat and can sweat as humans do.