Are rabbits nocturnal? No. Rabbits are not nocturnal or diurnal animals. Nocturnal animals are active during the night. In contrast, diurnal animals are active during the daytime.
Rabbits, on the other hand, are crepuscular animals. They are awake during dusk and dawn. This unusual sleeping pattern is beneficial for rabbits.
Rabbits as crepuscular animals
Rabbits are known as crepuscular animals. Unlike nocturnal and diurnal creatures, they are active at dusk until dawn. Dusk is the time of day when the sky becomes gray.
It is also referred to as twilight. On the other hand, dawn is the first light in the sky. Rabbits feel secure and calm during these periods.
Most of the rabbits’ predators are either nocturnal or diurnal. Nocturnal predators are active during the night, while during the day, they are asleep. On the contrary, diurnal predators are active during the day.
But when the night comes, they prefer to rest. Examples of nocturnal predators are raccoons, bats, and wolves. Eagles and bald hawks are diurnal predators.
Rabbits do a lot of activities during dusk and dawn. It is a perfect time to prevent encountering predators. During these hours, they are busy jumping and running around.
Some owners conclude that rabbits are nocturnal because they can see them active. They also notice that they are awake in the middle of the night. This occurs because of the rabbits’ body clock. It happens but not constantly.
If you observe them, you will notice that rabbits are asleep around noon and in the middle of the night. This time is when they typically experience relaxation or deep sleep.
When they are in a deep sleep, they sometimes dream. Since they know that there are no dangers in their surroundings, they can rest.
Many rabbit owners believe that rabbits are only active in the evening, but this is not always the case. Some think rabbits might be diurnal since their eyes are open while sleeping in the morning. The unusual sleeping patterns and behaviors of rabbits confuse most of their owners.
Rabbits have two large eyes with various colors: blue, red, blue-gray, marbled, and brown. When they get older, their eyes will darken. One of the traits of rabbits is that their vision helps them to survive against predators. Surprisingly, their eyes respond in different light conditions.
In poor light condition
Rabbits have developed the ability to see even in poor conditions of light. It helps them find their food, such as weeds and fresh grass.
They are active at dusk and dawn when it is too dark for their diurnal predators and too bright for nocturnal ones. Through this ability, rabbits can escape and hide from their attackers.
In complete darkness
Rabbits’ eyes can adjust to whatever light condition is available in their surroundings. Their vision improves so that they can see despite the poor light condition. Although they can’t know every detail, they can move around and perform plenty of activities.
All about Rabbit’s Eyes
Rabbit eyes are fascinating because they have a vast field of vision. They can detect every fast movement and see even in a small light. Their eyes were positioned upward and near their head sides to have a 360-degree vision. Their cones and rods control their vision.
The rod determines light sensitivity while cones see the color and light quality. Rabbits have more rods, making their eyes function better than human eyes.
Also, they are naturally farsighted. Even in long distances, they can notice the direction or step. This makes them aware of their predators, whether nocturnal or diurnal.
Rabbits also have a blind spot in their front faces because of the position of their eyes. They have difficulty seeing clearly in front of them.
Although unclear, they can recognize the objects. They can easily see colors, like blue and green. These are the colors of the veggies and hays included in their daily diet, so they are familiar with them. But they have difficulty recognizing a red color.
Rabbit’s sleeping patterns and behaviors
Sleep is vital for animals like rabbits. These cuddly pets need protection and care from their owner, especially when resting. If your rabbits don’t get enough sleep, it may be a symptom of a medical problem.
Though rabbits frequently sleep with their eyes open, it can be hard to tell if they are asleep or awake. But you must be aware of the schedule of your rabbits’ sleeping habits.
Rabbits need to sleep for almost eight to twelve hours a day. When the body clock of rabbits changes, their mood changes as well.
Some factors may also hinder them from sleeping well, such as lurking predators. Even with their sleep schedule, rabbits have to be alert and watchful. They need to escape to protect themselves from predators waiting to attack them.
You will know your rabbit’s condition from observing its sleeping positions and its ears. If your rabbit looks dead while asleep, it means that it is comfortable and relaxed.
If the rabbit is dreaming, it flops over. You will also notice that its nose is twitching. It will also have low breathing while snoring too.
Whenever your rabbit shows nervousness and alertness in its movements, it is time to keep your eyes on it. This may also indicate that it senses a predator in its surroundings.
Knowing more of your rabbit’s routine
Rabbits are vibrant and active during the mornings and evenings. They wake up during daylight and do a lot of activities until mid-morning.
Once it is mid-morning, they will sleep for a while until the late morning. Rabbits get bored like humans, too. They explore anything around them to satisfy their inner needs.
Sometimes they stretch out and make a loaf position with their eyes half-closed. They also tend to follow their owners around. Some of the activities they love are playing, running, eating, and exploring. They look for food in their trays and get ready to eat in the early evening.
When the evenings come, they also watch TV with their owners indoors. They are more friendly, playful, and engaging in activities during this period. One of their favorite pastimes is cuddling with others. They will frequently wait for their breakfast in the early morning.
Hay is a dried plant or grass that rabbits eat primarily. It should be in their feeding area every morning and evening during their active period.
If you forget the eating schedule of rabbits, they will call your attention by circling on your feet. Another way is standing up and biting you due to impatience. They may also rattle and make noise to get your attention.
Rabbits exercise every day in their active period to get themselves healthy. Doing a lot of exercises also prevents them from getting bored.
As a reminder, rabbits need proper care and attention to know what to do about their health. Always keep their digestive tract free from diseases because it is sensitive.
Give them pellets in the morning and fresh leafy greens in the evening. It would be best to respect their sleeping schedules and nap hours around dawn and dusk. As much as possible, let them sleep at peace by not bothering them at all.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the benefits of being crepuscular?
Crepuscular animals like rabbits are more likely to survive. They are active in the same period wherein nocturnal animals sleep. Also, it is difficult for predators to see at this period due to the complete darkness. It gives the crepuscular prey a higher chance to hide and escape.
Aside from rabbits, what are other examples of crepuscular animals?
Other crepuscular animals are possums, skunks, bears, deers, and some species of bats. Spotted hyenas, foxes, bobcats and jaguars can also be classified as crepuscular creatures.
How many hours of sleep do rabbits need?
Rabbits should sleep six to eight hours. However, you may encounter some rabbits that can sleep up to ten hours.
This usually happens when they are very comfortable with their home. It is also typical for rabbits to sleep and nap now and then. There is nothing you need to worry about.
Is it fine if I change the sleeping pattern of my rabbit?
If you want to change the sleeping pattern of your rabbit, you must do it gradually. Forcing them to change their sleeping habits may cause them anxiety and stress.
You don’t need to worry. Most domesticated rabbits adapt to the schedule of their owners. Also, if the rabbit lives inside your home, it can adapt immediately because of the noise and the light.
Are rabbits nocturnal? Contrary to popular belief, rabbits are not nocturnal. They are categorized as crepuscular animals. Unlike nocturnals, rabbits are active during dusk and dawn.
This sleeping pattern keeps them safe from predators, giving them a chance to escape. Also, their visions are designed to see in poor light.