Rabbits are awesome and that isn’t only because they have those long ears and a cute wiggling nose. They have an interesting part of their anatomy too, particularly their eyes.
Have you ever wondered why rabbits are more active during the night or at dawn than they are the entire day? Does it make you wonder if it’s true that they have night vision?
If you have a pet rabbit or thinking of getting one, or you simply like rabbits and want to get to know them more, this article will explore everything about the interesting bunny vision. Find out the answer to the old age question about whether or not rabbits can see in the dark.
4 Fun Facts About Rabbit Eyes
Do you ever wonder how pet rabbits see the world and the people around them? As a pet owner, you probably have questions like why it seems that your pet rabbits can’t see the treat you’re giving them up close.
So, here are some awesome facts about your rabbit’s vision that make them even more interesting.
1. Rabbits Have 360-Degree Vision
If you’ve heard people saying that rabbits can see what’s behind them, that is true. Rabbits are prey in the wild, and nature gave them the ability to keep themselves safe. A 360-degree vision is one of them, a weapon they can use to see any impending danger.
Rabbits’ eyes are high up on the sides of their head, allowing them to see in any direction, including above and behind them.
2. Rabbits Can Only See Two Colors
While humans have three color receptors allowing us to see red, blue, and green colors, rabbits only have two categories of color receptors. They can only see colors green and blue, which are colors used in low-light conditions.
These two colors that rabbits can perceive help them spot potential threats in both land and sky, essential for their survival, especially in the wild.
3. Rabbits Can Sleep With Their Eyes Open
Most often, you can see rabbits sleep with their eyes open. It’s one of the reasons why many believe they never sleep at all.
The main reason why rabbits sleep with their eyes open comes back to their survival. Opening their eyes even while sleeping keeps their light receptors active, which is important to spot an approaching predator.
However, rabbits can sleep with their eyes closed too, but usually only when they feel extremely safe and don’t sense any threat.
4. Rabbits Can See in the Dark
Another interesting fact about rabbit’s eyesight is they can see in the dark. You read that right – rabbits can see in the dark. They can see better than humans in a poorly lit room, mainly because their eyes have more rods than the human eye. Rods are photoreceptors in the retina that provides higher visual sensitivity in low light conditions.
So, Rabbits Can See in the Dark
Yes, rabbits can see in the dark, and it’s another survival thing for these cute and fluffy animals. Their sense of vision is one of the rabbit’s traits that keep them well-adapted in the wild.
They are crepuscular, which means they are at their most activity during dawn and dusk. In the wild, rabbits get out of their holes at these times to eat and exercise, as their predators are mostly still asleep.
Because of this, their eyesight evolved to accommodate these low-light conditions.
How About in Complete Darkness?
They can still see in complete darkness, at least to some extent.
While rabbit’s eyes are most developed and prefer mid to low-light environments, that doesn’t mean they are completely blind during the night or in complete darkness. Their eyes will adjust depending on the light settings. However, that also doesn’t mean the rabbit’s eyesight quality remains the same.
Rabbits can still see and make their way around a room in complete darkness, but they won’t be able to make out every detail of what they see.
Are Rabbits Nocturnal?
No. Just because rabbits can still see during the night doesn’t make them nocturnal. It’s a common misconception as rabbits sleep a lot during the daytime, so many people assume that they are nocturnal.
However, rabbits are crepuscular animals, which means they are active primarily at dawn and dusk.
Nocturnal animals are primarily active during the night and can’t see well with too much light. Diurnal animals, on the other hand, are mainly active during the daytime and can’t see well when it’s too dark. You can think of crepuscular creatures like bunnies between these two categories.
How Well Can They See in the Dark?
So you know that rabbits can see during the night, but how well are their eyesight in the dark?
As mentioned above, rabbits’ eyes have more rods than humans, making them more visually sensitive in low lighting, but rod cells have poor resolution. So, although rabbits can see in the dark better than humans can, they can only see things like they are a grainy or blurry old photograph.
Fortunately, rabbits don’t need perfect eyesight during the night, as they are already inside their burrows during this time if they are living in the wild.
Do They Have a Blind Spot?
The 360-degrees eyesight of rabbits is a great advantage for spotting incoming predators. They are also far-sighted, which means they can see threats even from afar.
But these fluffy animals have a small blind spot. They can see almost everything around them, except for that narrow spot directly in front of their faces, right in front of the nose, at the chin level. It’s why your pet rabbit seems like it can’t see the treat you’re giving them up close.
Are Rabbits Comfortable in the Dark?
Can rabbits see in the dark? Yes, but do they feel comfortable being in the dark?
Although they can see in pitch-black darkness, somehow, it’s also essential to consider what light condition they are most comfortable in. It’s also a more complex question as it can depend on circumstances and the rabbit’s preference.
Wild rabbits live in burrows, so it’s safe to say that they feel most comfortable and less anxious in the dark. However, your pet rabbit might have a different experience and will most likely associate daylight with being safe and happy while spending time with you. In this case, your rabbit might feel stressed in the dark.
Ultimately, each rabbit will have their preference whether they feel most comfortable in a dark or daylight environment.
Do I Need to Put a Night Light For My Pet Rabbit?
The answer will primarily depend on your rabbit. Essentially, you want to create a space that your rabbit will feel comfortable in and rabbits’ preferences can vary.
If your pet rabbit prefers having light, then providing a night light can make it happier and healthier. However, it’s also important to remember that rabbits who seem to love daylight ultimately only love your presence and company.
If you decide to use a night light, it’s essential to recreate the most favorable light settings. Here are simple tips for using a night light for rabbits.
Use low night-light
Avoid using an extremely bright light as it can do them more harm than good. Bright lighting can make it difficult for rabbits to sleep in. Having a low night light is great to help them relax and relieve their heightened sense of alert.
Keep the night light angled
This way, rabbits can still have a dark and safe corner they can retreat to if they want to relax and sleep without keeping them in total darkness.
Rabbits are incredibly fascinating creatures and they see the world in an equally remarkable way.
Rabbits prefer low light settings and are most active when the sun is low, like during dusk and dawn. Although the world looks grainy and blurry and it can be a challenge for them to navigate in pitch darkness, rabbits can still see in the dark.