Why Do Bunnies Hop?

Are Bunny and Rabbit different? Why do they Hop? How high can they Hop? How do their Spine, Back legs, and Skeleton help them in Hopping? What are Different Ways of Hopping? What do they indicate? 
why do bunnies hop
Photo by Geran de Klerk on Unsplash

There are different animals with distinct habits yet lots of things are unknown about them, just like the fact why do bunnies hop. Yes, I sometimes wonder about various such things which may not make sense to others, but an animal lover like you would love to know about the fact why do rabbits hop. I guess you would like to know about happy bunny hop too.

1. Are Bunny and Rabbit the same?

Small mammals from the family of Leporidae and the order Lagomorpha are known as rabbits. People call them bunnies also, while male rabbits are called bucks and female rabbits are known as does. Rabbits and bunnies are the same. It is just how people call them. (See What is the difference between a Rabbit and a Hare?)

2. How and Why do Rabbits hop?

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Photo by Noah Silliman on Unsplash

Why do Bunnies hop? The way their body is built is the main reason behind their hopping. Their back legs are longer and stronger than their front legs. The front legs provide them balance when they land after hopping. (See What Does a Rabbit Symbolize?)

Hopping can be used as a defense mechanism to escape an approaching predator. Also, they might be playing and just hopping around. 

3. How High can they Hop?

Their hind legs (back legs) allow them to hop higher in the air as high as 10 feet. They can jump up to 4 feet when moving forward. (See What is the Largest Wolf?)

4. How does their Spine Benefit them?

Bunnies have a long and elongated spine which enables them to flex strongly and easily whenever necessary. Also, their spine enables them to compress themselves in case they want to hide in a small space. (See What is the Life Cycle of a Newt?)

5. How beneficial are their Back Legs?

To further understand why do bunnies hop keep reading. Most of the strength and length of their back legs are composed of their tibia and fibula bones. It also has strong and extremely powerful muscles attached to them. Their back legs not only provide them with the strength to hop but also act as their defense material. They kick their enemies to save themselves. Also, they can stomp or thump their back legs to send a signal to fellow rabbits to warn them about the threat they have sensed. (See Why Are Rabbits’ Feet Lucky?)

6. How does their Skeleton help them in Hopping?

The skeleton of a rabbit is very light and does not comprise a large part of its overall body weight. Their lightweight skeleton comprises only 8% of their total body weight. This makes it easier for them to hop and gain speed while running. It enables them to gain agility and speed within a short time. 

7. What does their Hopping indicate?

If you are wondering, why do bunnies hop? Well, a rabbit hopping around can be a way of telling you something. They have different patterns of hopping, hopping in a straight line, hopping in a zigzag way, hopping around, hopping-thumping, and hopping towards you then stopping in front of you. (See List of Names for Groups of Animals)

8. Why do they Hop towards you?

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Photo by Ricky Kharawala on Unsplash

If a rabbit hops toward you and then stops in front of you, it indicates that he is challenging you. It is not an everyday phenomenon because they are shy and keep their distance. However, they may be angry with you on some grounds, or they are taking you as a threat. Also, check out why do Hermit Crabs need Shells?

9. Why do they Hop and Thump?

When a rabbit senses danger or possible threat, they hop on its front legs, pause, stand on, and then thump its back legs. The thump is hard enough to be heard through burrows and warns every rabbit in the surroundings about the threat. It is also possible that they thump in groups to scare a predator away. (See Are Sand Dollars Rare?)

10. What is Hopping around or Happy Bunny Hop?

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Photo by Gavin Allanwood on Unsplash

You might have seen a rabbit hopping on the same spot. It simply means that he is happy and feels safe. So, one reason why do bunnies hop is that it is the way they are trying to communicate with you and tell you that they are happy to have you around and feel safe in your presence. They believe you are going to keep them safe from danger. (See Can Parrots really Talk?)

11. Why do they Hop in a Zigzag Way?

A rabbit hopping in a zigzag way may be confused, lost, or marking its territory by spreading its scent. Though it is a way to escape the predator, it can also be a way to communicate with other animals. It may also be a way of finding a specific spot like a place for hiding, digging burrows, etc. 

12. What if they Hop in a Straight Line?

It is just their way of walking, but it is always possible that the rabbit is either running from the predator, or hunter, or simply moving in the direction they want to go. (See How strong is a Tiger compared to a Human?)

13. What if the Rabbit is not Hopping?

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Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

It can be possible that the bunnies are not hopping due to laziness, stress, or any underlying health issues. Sometimes they are suffering from splayed legs (a condition when the animal is unable to bear its weight on leg/legs). However, animals are usually born with this condition, but some adult rabbits develop this condition due to damage to their cartilage. (See Why do Penguins not Fly?)

14. What are the medical Reasons behind a Non-Hopping Rabbit?

The reason behind a non-hopping rabbit can be one or more of the following reasons.

  • Their neurological condition is affected due to some bacterial infection. It keeps them from hopping.
  • They are suffering from arthritis or other joint issues in their back legs. Due to this hopping is painful for them, and they avoid it.
  • The rabbit may have suffered some trauma or injury to its leg or spine due to landing on a hard surface or an attack by a predator. 

15. Does Hopping hurt Rabbits?

Hopping and jumping are their specialty but with a skeleton so fragile they can get hurt. While hopping, they move in a zigzag way to escape the predator. This movement sometimes makes their weak bones twitch also. Also, when they hop upwards, they can get hurt by the branch above. 

16. How do Wild Rabbits avoid Injury?

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Photo by Pablo Martinez on Unsplash

Wild rabbits are more sensible and accurate in hopping. They mostly hop on the ground which transfers the shock to the ground as they land. This causes the least effect on their feet and protects them from getting hurt. 

17. Why do Pet Rabbits get Hurt while Hopping?

After knowing about why do bunnies hop, take a look at your pet. Pet rabbits are not as careful as wild rabbits while they hop. Some are brought up in cages, therefore, they did not get a chance to develop their capabilities and learn to master them. Rabbits hurt themselves by hopping from high places without proper landing, which can also be a reason for them getting hurt. (See What are the Best Monkeys for Pets?)

18. How to protect your Pet Bunny from getting Hurt?

If you have stone or wooden flooring your bunny may get hurt when he hops. This type of flooring does not allow them to transfer the shock to the ground, which makes the intensity of shock more severe on their fragile body. However, hopping and landing on carpets or rugs can be much better and less harmful. Also, make sure your pet bunny does not jump off from high places. (See Benefits of Getting an Emotional Support Animal)

Now, you know about why do bunnies hop and the reason behind a happy bunny hop. Ask your friends and family about why do rabbits hop and share with them if they are not aware of the facts related to it. (Also read How to Make Balloon Animals Step by Step Guide?)

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