Updated July 20, 2019 15:16:17 Australian researchers have uncovered a new way to see the fur of an animal and show its intelligence by studying the skin on its coat.
Key points:A study has shown the fur on the rabbit is still very smart and retains the ability to communicate when disturbedWhen a rabbit is put into an experiment, the skin that covers its head will become transparentWhen the rabbit was put in an animal enclosure, the researchers found that the skin surrounding its ears became transparent to see how it reacted when disturbed.
“This shows the fur is still smart and remains active when exposed to certain types of stimulation,” said Professor John Lott, from the University of Western Australia’s School of Biological Sciences.
“The same thing happens when a rabbit in an experiment is exposed to a mouse, or to another mammal, or is exposed for long periods of time.”
The researchers found the fur skin around the rabbit’s ears remained transparent even when the skin was being touched or rubbed.
Professor Lott and his team found the rabbit fur coat retained the ability “to communicate when perturbed or disturbed” when placed in an environment with other animals.
“We found it has the ability, when exposed in an enclosed environment, to retain a lot of information,” he said.
“So the information can be transmitted through the skin and back to the animal.”
When a person touched the rabbit, it would automatically stop shaking it, and it would then stop shaking itself.
“It’s not just that it would stop shaking but it would also stop moving its tail, which we can also track.”
When it is disturbed, it stops moving its head, it’s not moving its legs, it doesn’t move its tail,” he explained.
The research is published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The researchers also found the skin around a rabbit’s ear was actually transparent when it was exposed to the touch of a human, but that when the human was not touching it, the animal’s fur started to peel off.
Professor John Lett said that the rabbit had a complex sense of smell and would react differently to the smell of different substances in an unfamiliar environment.”
If a rabbit has a lot more information, the rabbit will be more sensitive to the information that’s coming through the touch,” he told ABC News.”
But when you’re interacting with an unfamiliar, you’re not getting the same level of information, so we don’t know why that is.
“The rabbit is now on its way to becoming a research rabbit and will begin working on other areas of research, Professor Lott said.
Topics:animal-behaviour,science-and-technology,animal-science,science,animals,human-interest,animalation,australiaFirst posted July 20, 2020 14:56:52Contact Lisa McLean