Can rabbits count?

I apologise for lack of posts – I am in the middle of my exams. I’ll try get back to posting entries next week.

A couple of articles (Gadagkar, R. 1995) (Tennesen, M. 2009) seem to suggest that some animals have a rudimentary perception of numbers, and can count to about 5. I think my bunnies can count to two, I have yet to conduct experiments to see if they can count higher!

My rabbits have learnt where the ‘treat cupboard’ is, and when I open its doors, I always get an eager bunny investigating me. With most treats I give them just one, but with raisins and these little orange carrot things I give two treats. They seem to both understand this, and depending on the treat can ‘count’ how many I give them. For whichever bunny is in the hutch, they get very excited at the prospect of a treat. However depending on which I give, they either start begging again (expecting another) or aren’t as interested in me any more. When I pretended to give a third little carrot treat Nybble was quite surprised. Does this mean he knows he only gets two and knows what ‘two’ is? I want to test out the concept of ‘three’ but not sure how to do it and not make it food related if possible. Any suggestions?

A proud Nybble who can maybe count to two

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