June 29, 2021
If you’ve ever had a pet rabbit, you might have noticed that they can have a difficult time seeing things that are right in front of their face. This phenomenon can’t help but make you wonder if they can see well.
The placement of rabbits’ eyes has a lot to do with how they see the world. Their eyes are high and near the top of their skulls, which gives them nearly 360-degree vision. They are also farsighted, which makes them well-equipped to spot predators from a long distance in almost any direction.
Because of where their eyes are placed, rabbits do have a blind spot in front of their face, which is why they struggle to see things that are directly in front of them. To compensate for the blind spot, rabbits have a sharp sense of smell, and they use their whiskers and teeth to help them “see” what’s in their blind spot.
They also lose much of their depth perception at close ranges, seeing in two dimensions (instead of the three that we are used to). Their vision also isn’t as sharp as humans’ vision. This grainy vision is why it’s so easy to startle your bunny – they might not always recognize your shape.
Eyes have photoreceptors in the retina called cones and rods. Cones are more active when there is more light and provide spatial acuity and color vision, while rods are more functional when there is less light and provide night vision.
Compared to humans, rabbits have more rods than cones in their retinas. This means rabbits can see better than we can in the dark but are limited to two-color vision. For example, they can distinguish between green and blue but cannot see red.
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