Welcome to the fascinating world of rabbit eyesight! Answering all your top bunny vision questions. From can bunnies see in the dark, to can they see in color.
Let’s find out!
Many bunny parents wonder how the world looks like to their beloved pet.
Do bunnies see the world like we do, or does the world look different to them?
What does rabbit vision look like? Do rabbits see in the dark?
Can rabbits see color? Why do bunnies have difficulty seeing treats placed directly under their noses?
These are all great questions and today we are going to explore the topic of rabbit eyesight in detail.
Do rabbits have good eyesight?
In the wild, rabbits are prey animals that evolved to sense oncoming danger from all different directions.
Their eyes are located on the sides of their head, giving them close to a 360-degree field of vision!
To give you an idea, humans can only see 180-degrees.
This 360-degree field of vision means they can see nearly everything, even from behind and above. Why do you say “nearly everything?” What can’t they see?
Rabbits have a blind spot located directly in front of them, at the chin level. This is why your bunny has difficulty spotting treats placed right under his nose.
Then how can your bunny locate the treat? Rabbits have large nostrils for detecting scents and large ears to compensate for their blind spot.
How far can rabbits see?
Rabbits are far-sighted creatures and can see things clearly at a distance.
This ability allows them to detect things from far away in any direction.
How do they do this?
Objects that appear further away seem to “move less” than objects that are close by, which gives the bunny some indication of where the object is located.
Since they do not see well up close, you will see them bobbing their head from side to side to try to get a clearer image of what’s in front of them.
The side-to-side action allows them to look at things as straight as they possibly can. This is why you may notice your bunny doing that motion when you are standing in front of him.
Can rabbits see color?
Rabbits do see color, but not like the way people do.
Their color vision is not as varied and sharp as ours. Why would people need to see more colors than rabbits?
Back in the days of hunting and foraging for food, humans needed to be able to differentiate berries and other food so we could survive.
Bunnies, on the other hand, mainly eat green vegetation, so they mostly see greens and blues.
Can rabbits see in the dark?
By now you are probably wondering, do rabbits have night vision? Can bunnies see in the dark?
In low light conditions, they see better than people do. But their vision is not nearly as sharp as it is in brighter conditions.
Their vision makes things appear “grainy.”
Does this mean your pet rabbit sees you as a blur?
To some extent, this is true.
Then how can bunnies tell the difference between you and someone else?
They can distinguish you by your voice, your physical shape, mannerisms, and scent!
Do rabbits like the dark?
So the answer to can bunnies see in the dark is yes, to some extent. But does this mean that they enjoy being in the dark?
Both wild and domesticated rabbits are crepuscular, meaning they are most active at dawn and dusk. It is a good time for them to forage for food, socialize, and keep their burrows clean.
This low light environment is especially important because it helps them minimize being attacked or eaten by predators.
Since rabbit eyesight is best in low light conditions, rabbits do prefer a dim environment.
This is the time when they are most active. Many pet rabbit owners will attest to their bunny being active at night.
To mimic the life of rabbits in the wild, you should have a dimly lit area like a covered cage, where your bunny can “burrow” and feel safe.
Can bunnies see in the dark?
Bunnies see best in low light conditions, but this doesn’t mean they see well in pitch darkness.
When it is completely dark, they can’t rely on their eyesight alone. Bunnies rely heavily on their other senses, such as their sense of smell and hearing.
We have learned that rabbit eyesight is nearly 360-degrees, they have a blind spot right in front of them, they have limited color vision compared to humans, and they are most active in low light conditions.
What about you?
When is your bunny most active? Does your pet appear to have better vision at night? What kind of experiences do you have with your pet bunny? Why not share your story with us in the comments section below!
Krempels, D., PhD. 1998. What Do Rabbits See? H.A.R.E. Inc.
Materi, L., PhD. Unraveling The Mystery of Rabbit Vision. Petcha.