5Have you ever wondered what rabbits’ ears communicate?
Somewhat like us humans, who gesticulate to express our emotions, rabbits also communicate with their bodies. Specifically, with their ears.
Types of ears in rabbits
Rabbits can be born with two different types of ears:
- Straight ears: this is the most common ear type in nature. This type absorbs most sounds and reacts quickly to its environment.
- Low, droopy ears: some rabbits, such as ram rabbits, naturally have low, droopy ears. This characteristic is due to a mutation in a gene that leads to their ears being almost twice the size of a normal rabbit. Unlike the first type, down-eared rabbits make minimal movements that are more difficult to detect. Therefore, it is necessary to learn how to interpret even the most delicate movements.
The ear positions of rabbits
Rabbits, just like dogs and cats, communicate their emotions to us. It is up to us to be able to interpret them. This is what the little rodents want to communicate to us.
1. The rabbit has straight ears.
It means that the rabbit is listening for a noise and is turned towards the sound. Similarly, it could be that the animal is afraid. In this case it may still have straight, stiff ears.
2. The rabbit has one ear up and one ear down.
When small mammals are curious or when they perceive a noise, they may have one ear raised and one lowered. Unlike before, however, the body of the small animal will be calm and relaxed.
3. The rabbit has its ears folded forward.
If the pet is near someone or something it does not know, it may have its ears bent forward. This occurs because the bunny is trying to investigate the situation. In addition to having its ears bent forward, it will also tend to sniff very ‘aggressively’.
4. The rabbit has its ears folded backwards.
When the rabbit has its ears folded like this, it does not communicate anything positive. It is in fact angry and may therefore become aggressive. In this situation, the pet may also present its tail high and chin forward about to bite.
5. The rabbit has its ears stretched backwards.
There are two cases in which the rabbit has its ears stretched backwards. In the first case, these are relaxed and not tense, which means that the rodent is particularly calm and relaxed. In the second case, on the other hand, if the ears are stretched out but stiff, this means that the rabbit is submissive. This can happen when the mammal is introduced to a new environment, where there are other similar animals.
If you have a rabbit as a pet, you will certainly have seen these movements of its ears.
Use these tips to interpret the signals your rabbit sends you even better!