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Why do rabbits have large ears?

Introduction: The Role of Ears in Rabbits

Rabbits are known for their large and distinctive ears, which can measure up to 10 cm in length. Ears are crucial body parts for rabbits as they play significant roles in the animals’ survival and wellbeing. Rabbits have evolved to have large ears to handle a range of functions, such as hearing, regulating body temperature, communication, and defense against predators. In this article, we explore why rabbits have large ears and how they benefit from them.

The Anatomy of Rabbit Ears: Structure and Size

Rabbit ears are long, thin, and upright, with a distinctive shape that is easily recognizable. The ears are made of cartilage and are covered by a layer of skin. The external part of the ear, known as the pinna, can move in different directions, which allows rabbits to locate sounds accurately. The ears’ size varies among rabbit breeds, with some having longer or shorter ears than others. Wild rabbits, such as cottontails, have relatively shorter ears compared to domesticated breeds like the lop-eared rabbit, which has long, floppy ears. The size and shape of rabbit ears are determined by genetics, environment, and selective breeding.

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