Rabbits are known as adorable creatures. Many rabbit owners make them pets because of their cuddliness. But have you wondered what is inside the rabbit’s body? Knowing how rabbits’ body works will help you. Learn more by reading this article on rabbit anatomy: rabbit body parts you need to know.
Knowing more about rabbits
Before exploring their body and anatomy, it is essential to know more about rabbits. Except in Antarctica, rabbits are found on every continent. They belong from the order of lagomorph and come in different eighty species.
They have been domesticated for more than 400 years indoors or outdoors. Because of this, they have the right to be called one of the most popular pets in the United States, next to cats and dogs.
Wild rabbits are legally used for hunting and wool production in other countries. Total of six to eight years of life span, bunnies are not just brown, white, or black. Some species come in more than twenty different colors. Others have various color combinations.
Bunny is known for their flip-floppy ears that they loop or move upwards. These long ears make up 12% of their body surface. Their ears are also highly vascular. Because of this, they play a role in heat conservation. Their ears help rabbits living in high mountains maintain warmth.
Whenever they feel hot, they direct the heat through their ears. Rabbit’s ears are fragile and sensitive. As a warning, never handle a rabbit by its ears. It will be painful for them, or it may cause serious injury.
A rabbit’s nose has sensitive whiskers. These whiskers help them to breathe easier by adjusting the exchanges of air. They also regulate the inhaled air flows and heat. Through their nasal mucosa, they can easily detect chemicals.
The morphology of rabbits’ noses directs how the air flows in and out of their lungs. Rabbits wiggle their noses for breathing purposes. But they also do this for communication, casually greeting each other with their nose.
They also use their noses for picking and attracting their mate. A keen sense of smell helps them survive due to their extraordinary tuned sensory organs. It also helps them perceive danger, demark prey, and locate food.
Tails can be found in all animals, and they are sometimes useless. But with rabbits, these are important as any part of their body. It can distract their predator when they are being chased. Also, it signals another rabbit when danger is present, allowing them to escape.
But domestic bunnies don’t use their tails for survival. Instead, they use them to show emotions and communicate with other rabbits. This poof fluffy tail is not only a clustered cotton as mistaken by others. It has a muscle that helps them move their tail and a bone connected to their spinal cord. A minor injury can be painful. [Why Do Rabbit Have Tails?]
Rabbit has delicate skin that can be easily cut. But their skin is protected with compact and fine wool hair. It is identified into two parts. Covering all of their body is their hindquarter and forequarter. The forequarter includes the neck, shoulder, front thigh, and rib. Meanwhile, the hindquarter includes the back thigh, loin, hip, leg, belly, and rump.
If you look at the rabbit’s eyes, you will notice their cornea is large. It covers 30% of their eyes. They are susceptible to light compared to humans. Their eyes are ten times more sensitive to light. This is why most wild rabbits live underground or inside the cave. A bright setup can be stressful to them.
They have various aye colors, including brown, blue, ruby, and blue-gray iris. Beneath their nose is where their blind spot is. When it comes to seeing near objects, rabbits have poor eyesight. They cannot easily see what is in front of them. They only rely upon the sense of their whisker.
But don’t underestimate them. Rabbits are most active during dusk and dawn. They have a wild field of vision which is 100 to 190 degrees. It makes them see their prey ahead of time or predators who want to attack them.
Observing how rabbit eats, they chew in fast motion. But rabbit truly chews their food thoroughly. They have long and narrow teeth. Their permanent teeth show when they are in the age of 3 to 5 days.
Their teeth are hypsodont. It means that they are open-rooted, growing throughout their lives. Specifically, it happens after adapting to gnawing. The front teeth have two pairs of sharp incisors. One pair is on the top and one pair on the bottom. Plus, they have two peg teeth behind the top incisors. Behind these, they also have sets of canine teeth for grinding food.
Bunnies move by hopping around. They are fast creatures that can reach up to 35mph within a few yards. It is because rabbits have powerful large hind legs. But other species of rabbits cannot hop. It is due to mutations in their single gene, which causes defects in the rabbits’ spinal cords. They can’t coordinate their limbs well enough to hop.
When they are young, it cannot be seen since they will walk solely on their front leg first instead of hopping. Their front paws have five toes each, while they have four toes on their hind feet. The toes are long and webbed to keep them from spreading apart when they jump. The purpose of their nails is to dig holes. It also serves as their defense against predators.
Rabbits have elongated fiber muscle divided into four regions. Armstrings, quadriceps, dorsiflexor, and plantar flexors are the four regions. Compared with others, they have more muscle in their hinds. Designed for force production, these are loins and thighs. Their muscle rapidly grows in 10 to 12 weeks and stops after 5 to 7 months.
Twenty-three different types of bones can be found in a rabbit’s body. Two-thirds are in the flat bones and one-thirds in the long bones. Inside their skull, the size of their nasal structure occupies one-third of the skull.
Rabbits’ skeletons are likely fragile since they have denser bones. They have average stability of bone formation. The common diseases for old rabbits are arthritis and osteoporosis. These conditions make it difficult for them to move.
Note that the rabbits have small mouths and noses. For respiring, they have to whiff their nose. They have been identified as obligate nose breathers. It is due to their epiglottis positioned rostrally to the soft palate.
The lungs of rabbits are hollow pinkish, and spongy bed bags. They are lying in the thoracic or air-tight pleural cavities.Respiratory diseases cause major deaths in rabbits.
It is estimated that 10 to 20% portion of a rabbits’ body is the digestive system. A source of good fiber is necessary for rabbits because the cecum requires a lot of fiber. Food travels from the stomach to the small intestine until it reaches its cecum. The microbial breakdown of fiber occurs before it enters the large intestine.
The nervous system of the rabbit is divided into three parts. They are the central nervous system, peripheral nervous system, and autonomic nervous system. Plus, they have three types of nerves. These are sensory, motor, and mixed nerves.
The sensory nerves carry impulse nerves going to the organs. Meanwhile, the motor nerves take orders from the central nervous system. Mixed nerves carry impulses both on the organs and the central nervous system.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a rabbit dewlap?
A rabbit dewlap is a flap of skin located under the rabbit’s chin. It is more prominent in does than bucks since it serves as preparation for pregnancy. The doe uses it to provide a nest for its newborn babies.
Do female rabbits menstruate?
No, female rabbits don’t menstruate. If you notice that a doe’s urine is rust-colored, it can be caused by plant pigments. But if it is bright red blood, you must have your rabbit spayed immediately. It may bleed to death. This can also be a symptom of bladder stones. Bring it to the vet immediately.
What are the characteristics of the rabbits that are evaluated during rabbit shows?
The characteristics evaluated are breed, variety, health, ability, and fur condition. The owner’s presentation to its rabbit also earns some points. The rabbit needs to arch its hindquarter to show its carcass quality. Also, its forelegs and hind legs must be in the proper positions. Its ears should also be tucked.
Through this article in rabbit anatomy: rabbit body parts you need to know, you learn more about your pet. It is essential to understand how a rabbit’s body functions so that you can provide the best care. Also, it will help you determine if your rabbit needs immediate medical attention.