Ask the Vets Pets
A weekly column about pet health care Home
Pet Care Information About us Search
DOGS
CATS
OTHER PETS
IMPORTANT INFO
PET OF THE MONTH
LINKS
 
CONTACT US
2008-09

Dear Reba Rabbit

We took your advice and adopted a rabbit from the shelter. Now my kids are full of questions: Why does our rabbit wiggle his nose? Also, he can move his ears independently of each other. Is that normal, or is our rabbit special?

Reba Responds

Each rabbit is special, and yours is no exception – but not because he can rotate his ears independently. I can do that, and so can other rabbits.

Our large, erect, movable ears help pick up sounds of potential predators. In the wild, we rabbits are prey to many species, from foxes to hawks.

We wiggle our noses for the same reason: to detect potential predators.

Wiggling my nose helps move air into my nostrils. As my nose twitches, I part the split in my upper lip to help humidify the air and increase my ability to detect the scent of an enemy.

Our large rabbit eyes, set on the sides of the head, give us a very wide field of vision, again to aid in the detection of potential predators.

What helped our ancestors avoid predators – twitching nose, tall ears that move independently, and large, widely spaced eyes – now make us adorable to the people who love us.

back to index

  Contact Us