What is the Difference between Rabbit and Hare?
Both rabbits and hares belong to the mammalian order Lagomorpha. They are both small animals. The two animals look similar and many have confused them to be one.
They belong to the same family but they are different species just like goats and sheep. They are different in appearance and behavior-wise.
The main difference between the rabbits and hares is that rabbits tend to be smaller with shorter ears and limbs while hares are comparatively larger with longer ears and limbs.
Comparison Table (Rabbit vs Hare)
|Size||They are comparatively smaller in body size.||They are larger in body size.|
|Ears||They have comparatively shorter ears.||They have comparatively longer ears.|
|Limbs||They have shorter limbs.||They have longer limbs.|
|Speed||Their speed of running is low.||They have high running speed.|
|What they feed on||They feed on grass and vegetables with leafy tops.||They feed on harder substances like plant shoots, twigs, and bark.|
|Young ones||They are born hairless, blind, and helpless and need attention for about 8 weeks.||They are born fully furred, open eyes, and are able to live on their own after one hour of birth.|
|Name of young ones||They are referred to as kittens.||They are referred to as leverets.|
|Color change||There may be some color variation between molts but not very noticeable.||They go from brown to brilliant white during winter in order to provide camouflage for the season.|
|Gestation period||The period lasts between 30 to 31 days with a bunny in the oven.||The period lasts 42 days.|
|Nests||They live in burrows.||They live above the ground.|
What is Rabbit?
Rabbit is a small mammal in the family Leporidae. It is any of the 29 species of long-eared animals. They are smaller and have shorter ears and limbs.
They are ground dwellers that live in environments ranging from deserts to tropical forests and wetlands. All breeds of domestic rabbits originate from Europe. All over the world rabbits are in danger of extinction.
They are herbivores and mostly feed on grass and other vegetables with leafy tops. They prefer the soft parts of plants as their digestion system cannot accommodate the harder parts of plants.
Their gestation period lasts between 30 to 31 days and may give birth to between 1 to 6 bunnies. The bunnies are born hairless and helpless and depend on their mother for support for a period of about two months.
What is Hare?
Hare is a small animal in the family Leporidae. They are larger and have longer ears and limbs which enable them to run away from their predators while in the field.
The fastest species of hare are found in Central and Western North America which are able to run at 64km/hr.
Their front teeth do not stop growing throughout their lifetime. They grind their teeth down by chewing grass hence they get worn out hence need to replace.
They tend to live a more solitary life as compared to rabbits. They live above the ground so that they are able to get food for themselves and also see the approaching enemies so that they may take cover.
Some species of hare change their color during the winter season so that they may camouflage the season. This enables them to get well adapted to the cold climate.
They only come together during mating season. Their gestation period takes 42 days and they give birth to leverets that are fully furred with eyes open and are able to live on their own one hour after birth.
They feed on harder substances of plants such as shoots, twigs, and bark. This is because as they live in the field, they get accessed to various parts of plants hence learning how to live on them.
Main Differences between Rabbit and Hare
- Rabbits are smaller in body size while hares are comparatively large in body size.
- Rabbits have shorter ears while having comparatively longer ears.
- Rabbits have low running speed while hare has high running speed.
- Rabbits’ young ones are born without hair and are helpless at birth while hares’ young ones are born with a lot of fur and open eyes and can live on their own one hour after birth.
- Young ones of a rabbit are called kits or bunnies while young ones of a hare are called leverets.
- Rabbits live in burrows while hares live above the ground.
Similarities between Rabbit and Hare
- They belong to the same family.
- They both have long ears and hind limbs.
- They are both herbivores.
- They both change color during winter.
- Both give birth to young ones.
Rabbits and hares have been confused by many as they share similar characteristics. They both have long ears and hind limbs and both run fast. They feed on some foodstuff and give birth to young ones.
However, the two are different both in appearance and behavior. Rabbits tend to be smaller in body size and have shorter ears and hind limbs as compared to hares.
The main features that make a rabbit different from a hare are the size of the body, ears, and limbs.
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