Rabbit Focus

Do Rabbits Have Taste Buds?

If you grew up watching cartoons, you might be familiar with Bugs Bunny. This adorable perceptive character is known for his acute senses that helped him locate and flee from predators. Bugs is always a step ahead thanks to his far-off vision, superior smelling, and hearing.

Do Rabbits Have Taste Buds?

Since Bugs Bunny is a rabbit, his characteristics reflect those of real-life bunnies. But how about their sense of taste? Do rabbits have taste buds, too?

Yes, just like humans, rabbits also have taste buds. They can also distinguish between salty, bitter, sour, and sweet tastes. It is all because of the thousands of taste buds found both in the pharynx and mouth of rabbits.

Do Rabbits Have a Sense of Taste?

Rabbits have 17,000 taste buds located in the pharynx and mouth. These animals can distinguish between salty, bitter, sweet, and sour. Rabbits in the wild can also differentiate between non-toxic and toxic plants. However, this ability is often lost in some house rabbits, which makes it important for rabbit owners to research this particular subject.

Some domesticated rabbits also have discriminating tastes, which is the reason why they can be picky. Rabbits also seem to tolerate bitter greens like dandelion more than humans. They even enjoy chocolates and other sweets. But it is important to avoid these items because they can cause gastric upset.

Do Rabbits Have the Same Taste Buds as Humans?

Are the taste buds of rabbits similar to those of humans? Does something that tastes bitter to you also taste bitter to bunnies? These questions can be a bit tricky to answer.

Some scientists study the relationship between the number of taste buds found on a human’s tongue and the strength of the sense of taste of a person. However, such studies are difficult to perform on animals because it is impossible to communicate with them.

The same group of researchers is also studying taste sensitivity and taste buds in rodents including mice and rats using behavioral cues such as licking speed. However, it is not easy to tell if rodents also share similar tastes.

It is known that rabbits have more additional taste buds than humans. Their tongue has two structures that carry the taste buds: the leaf-shaped lobes or “foliate papillae” and the mushroom-shaped lobes or “fungiform papillae”.

Since most plants are toxic, it is safe to say that the taste buds of rabbits are well-developed to help them detect potentially toxic and bad-tasting food and avoid them. After all, most toxins have a bitter taste.

Vegetarian animals find it hard to get enough salt, which means that rabbits can likely distinguish salty from bitter. It is unknown, however, if rabbits can also detect sour from sweet. If you have pet rabbits, you can try experimenting with some naturally sweet things such as grapes and strawberries to check if your bunnies prefer them over celery or lettuce.

Carrots actually taste sweet despite being a vegetable because of their high amounts of sugar. It means that if your bunny likes carrots, it can be because it can taste the sweetness and like sweet things. While most humans love sweet foods, it might not be the case for bunnies so make sure you check.

Rabbit Senses That Help Them Stay Alive

Aside from the sense of taste, rabbits have other senses that help them survive and stay alive. Rabbits are prey animals. This means that if they don’t like to end up as a tasty lunch for wild predators, rabbits need to count on the sharp senses that help them detect these threats before things are too late.

Hearing

Hearing is probably the most vital sense in the world of rabbits. You may be in love with the adorable flappy large ears of your pet, but did you ever consider if they can also efficiently detect sounds?

Just so you know, aside from being large, rabbit’s ears can also swivel on their own, which gives a key advantage to their owners. Rabbits can detect sounds from all directions and from very long distances.

The sensibility of rabbits is also much better compared to that of humans. Rabbits have a hearing range of around 360 to 42,000 hertz, while humans can only hear 64 to 23,000 hertz. This means that the funny and cute ears of your rabbit are not just there to make them look cute.

Sight

Just like their ears, chances are you haven’t even bothered asking yourself why the eyes of rabbits are located on the sides of the head. The reason is simple. This position gives rabbits an exceptional range of their natural peripheral vision.

It also lets them guard and watch a broad range of their environment while they are busy munching on some grass. A lot of animals, particularly predators, have their eyes located on the front side of their heads. This gives them not only binocular vision but also the ability to focus on things, such as the rabbit they are after.

Smell

You might have also noticed how your little rabbit looks like it is twitching almost all the time. The truth is, what they are doing is that they try to sniff out everything. This helps rabbits identify their human owners or nearby predators. Rabbits can also smell the grass and other plants they feed on or pick up scents from the air.

Touch

Rabbits don’t use their small paws for feeling the world around them. Instead, they are using their body hair and whiskers for this purpose. The whiskers of rabbits let them sense anything right before them. This is specifically important in their burrows underground or even beneath your couch where these animals might hide most of the time.

While domestic rabbits are cute and may look defenseless, when they are out in the wild, they rely on their survival instincts to stay alive. These adorable animals do have taste buds that they use to enjoy their food. But aside from their sense of taste, they also have other senses that they use to survive.

And with that, we officially end this blog post. But before you go, can you do us a solid and spread the love (or laughter) by sharing this on your social media? Who knows, maybe we might even find someone who can relate to our content and benefit from it... Wink