Can Rabbits See in the Dark?

Last Updated on May 30, 2023 by

Many pets like cats and dogs can see well at night, but can rabbits see in the dark?

Pet rabbits are a popular pet choice for many reasons. One reason is that they’re low-maintenance animals.

They don’t need to be taken on walks and can live happily in small spaces. Another plus is that they have some unique abilities, like being able to see in the dark!

But it’s not as straightforward as that. So how do rabbits see in the dark? This article aims to unpack this amazing bunny ability. If you’re interested to know more about this very helpful bunny talent then read on!

Can rabbits see in the dark?

Are Rabbits Nocturnal?

Some people think that rabbits are nocturnal probably because they can hear their bunnies moving around while they’re asleep. But this is a misconception, rabbits are not nocturnal they are crepuscular.

Crepuscular creatures, like rabbits, are active not at the night but in low light conditions. This means that rabbits are active during dawn and dusk. Rabbits usually move around at dusk when their owners are asleep this is probably the reason for the misconception about their nocturnal nature.

In the wild rabbits are also crepuscular. This trait has been passed on and retained even in domestic rabbits. Wild rabbits would often leave their warrens at dawn to forage for food and they would come back to their warrens before night falls.

A rabbit spending the night out in the forests is dangerous. This is because some predators hunt using the cover of the night. Rabbits return to their homes before nightfall to make sure that they are safe before these predators start hunting.

Can Rabbits See in the Dark, When it’s Pitch Black?

Rabbits don’t have what is called a tapetum. This is a part of the eye that can be found behind the retina. Nocturnal animals all have this part in their eyes. This allows them to have excellent vision even in the dark.

But, rabbits are not nocturnal animals, they are crepuscular. Since they are most active during low light conditions of the day, they did not evolve to have the tapetum as part of their biology.

Rabbits can see well in low light conditions but they do not have excellent vision in total darkness as compared to nocturnal animals. The small amount of light that passes through the tapetum reflects off the retina. This allows the retina to better perceive things in complete darkness.

Rabbit vision can adjust in total darkness, the same way human vision can adjust to seeing in the dark. Like humans, rabbits can’t precisely see what moves in the dark but they can make out shapes in the darkness.

Rabbits have other senses they rely on when in the dark. If they cannot see anything, they would most often rely on their sense of smell and their excellent hearing to check their surroundings for any signs of threat.

How Can Rabbits See in Low Light Conditions?

Did you know that rabbits can’t see what is literally in front of their noses? This is one of the interesting facts about rabbit vision. The eyes of the rabbits are located at the sides of their head and this gives them a wide field of vision. Their only blind spot is what’s in front of their noses.

Because of this wide field of vision, rabbits can see a predator coming from any angle. Rabbits also have cones and rods in their eyes that allow them to see in low light conditions.

Black Rabbit

Human vision is also generally better than rabbit vision. This is because rabbits are partially color blind. The cones in the eyes of the rabbit are fewer than the cones in the eyes of a human.

A human has three cones in their eyes. This allows us to see primary colors such as red, green, and blue. Rabbits only have two cones in their eyes. Rabbits cannot see the color red and can only see green and blue in their surrounding.

Rabbits have more rods in their eyes so they can see better in lower light conditions than humans. Rods in the eyes are able to process light even in low light conditions. Since rabbits have more of these, they can see better in low light than humans.

Rabbits are also far-sighted. This works to their advantage because they can see threats even from far away. Coupled with their wide field of vision, rabbits are not easy prey for any predator.

Can I Keep My Rabbit in Complete Darkness?

Keeping rabbits in complete darkness might be a bad idea but this is entirely dependent on the personality of your rabbit.

Rabbits aren’t generally afraid of the dark, their vision is not made to see in total darkness but they also have other senses that they rely on to help them navigate the darkness.

Rabbits, because they are crepuscular in nature, are most active at dawn and in the late afternoons. This means that they are most likely to be asleep during nighttime. When deciding on leaving your bunny in complete darkness, you should check the activity in the room that happens at night.

It’s important that rabbits be kept in a room where they will not be disturbed and that there will be no activities in the middle of the night. This will greatly reduce the fright that your rabbits will experience and allow them to get the shut-eye that they need for their health and well-being.

Should I Leave a Light on for My Bunny?

Leaving a light on for a bunny is better than leaving them completely in the dark. A night light is good to give them some light so that they can see their surroundings better.

Rabbit vision works as long as there is light, a little light will benefit your bunny.

Final Thoughts

Rabbits are crepuscular animals that have amazing abilities given low light conditions. They might not have perfect night vision but they come equipped to sense and handle threats at night – so that answers the question of whether can rabbits see in the dark!

Some rabbits also have quirks and personalities. Some are fans of the dark while some are terrified of it. No matter what your rabbit prefers, it’s important that you provide them with the surroundings they need to thrive and grow healthy.