Ohkuno Island in the Seto Inland Sea. Once home to the Imperial Japanese Army’s poison gas research facility, It has become somewhat of a rabbit heaven in recent years. This phenomenon is thought to date back to the release of rabbits on the island in the 1970’s. They continued to breed and have since turned semi-wild. These feral rabbits provide researchers with the perfect environment for observing rabbit ecology. While there are native Japanese rabbits, most domesticated rabbits are related to the European rabbit, and differ greatly to hares in terms of ecology. Physiologically, however, they are considered as being virtually identical to European rabbits and hares. Mention the word rabbit, and most people think of their big ears. It’s not so well known that rabbits have superb hearing, and are particularly sensitive to the sound of animals stepping on twigs in the bush. Immediately after detecting a sound close by, they will usually freeze on the spot. And when a faraway sound is detected, they look up and scan the surrounding area. This behavior, thought to have developed in order to evade predators like foxes and martens, clearly demonstrates that rabbits detect the distance of a sound from them. Audio detection of an abnormal sound is followed by visual confirmation of a predator’s movement. Rabbits have large eyes that bulge out from the side of their head, providing almost a 360 degree field of vision. On the downside, they have no binocular vision as the field of view of the left and right eyes hardly overlaps. Despite their large eyes, rabbits don’t actually have very good eyesight. They are able to evade predators thanks to another highly developed sensory organ. Their sense of smell. Rabbits twitch their nose almost nonstop to facilitate precise detecting of changes in an odor’s concentration. Rabbits have an excellent sense of smell, with almost as many scent-detecting cells as a dog. Many animals also have what is known as a vomeronasal organ mainly used to detect pheromones. A rabbit’s vomeronasal organ has many auxiliary organs that are still not properly understood. Anatomical research into the function of these auxiliary organs has clarified the workings of the olfactory nerve network, but has yet to clarify how rabbit’s perceive the information collected. One bold theory speculates that rabbits perceive the shape and movement of close objects by smell. Sight merely supplements hearing, with smell playing the main role in spatial perception. However, odor is easily diffused by wind, leaving us to question the likelihood of odor generating a visual image. As unlikely as this may seem, we should keep an open mind given the rabbit’s amazing ability to judge distance by sound, and the anatomical complexity of their olfactory nerve network. Humans do not have such refined sensors with which to measure the natural world. However, humankind posses the power of analysis, one that goes beyond our natural limitations. The protection of this diverse and beautiful earth through the analysis of nature is a mission that has been entrusted to humankind.