A rabbit’s ears vary in size. They range from the middle-sized Netherland dwarf to the long floppy ears of an English lop. However, these lopes share the same function – they help your bun send signals and stay cool during hot days.
The size and shape of a rabbit’s ears vary depending on the breed, but there’s no doubt that their uniquely-shaped ears are essential for catching signals and detecting sounds from more than two miles away.
Not only that, but their ears can also move independently to monitor sounds from all angles.
Observe The Radar
Your bunny may never understand why you tried on five different pairs of shoes before heading off to work, or why you spent an entire afternoon crying while watching a Nicholas Sparks movie. But you can definitely understand how your bunny is feeling by observing their long pink antennas!
When your rabbit is alert and focusing on the sounds around them, their ears twitch or point straight up. Make no mistake, they can definitely hear you opening the treats cupboard or tearing open a new packet of hay!
Also, in times of fear and aggression, their ears point back over their shoulders. On the other hand, a relaxed bunny’s ears rest close to their shoulders.
In this sunny and humid weather, we humans sweat to cool down, but your bunny does not sweat. Instead, their ears act as an air-conditioner and help them cool down.
They lose heat by circulating blood from the broad network of blood vessels in their ears. This also means the longer the ears, the longer the blood takes to travel and thus, more time for the heated blood (and therefore your bunny) to cool down.
However, to help your bunny with the process, you could add some ice packs under your rabbit’s cage or feed it some chilled raspberries.
* This article was updated on 7 July 2020. It first appeared in Pets Magazine, 21 June 2017.