How does a rabbit see the world? Is it blurry? Colorful? Packed with strangely carrot-shaped items? All excellent questions – and I found a great article that answers many of them. (Except the carrot one. Only rabbits will ever know that.) Here’s five facts about RabbitVision you may not have known:
1. Rabbits can’t see directly in front of them. In that picture of Malcolm up top, he’s not looking at the camera. He probably can’t even see the camera. Yet he seems interested in it – as rabbits often do when they seem to be looking at you face forward. What they’re actually doing is using their fine-tuned sense of smell to fulfill a chemical curiosity – not a visual one.
2. Rabbits have basically no depth perception. That’s part of the reason they hate being picked up, and why they’re so tentative about jumping on to/of off new places. The anatomical reason is the same as number 1 – the field of vision in both eyes barely overlaps, because each eye is on the opposite side of the head.
3. Rabbits can see above their heads. Imagine walking down the street and being able to take in a whole skyscraper without straining your neck. That’s basically how your rabbit looks at you from the floor.
4. Rabbits probably can’t see the color red. They seem to only have the receptors to tell blue and green apart. Great for picking out parsley – bad for, um, driving and getting dressed in the morning.
5. Rabbits can’t see fine details as well as you can. That means they mostly identify you by shape, smell, and movement. So when you stumble home on a Sunday afternoon carrying a tweed suitcase and smelling like watered-down airplane vodka, don’t be surprised when he scurries away as soon as you come over to cuddle.