What is the difference between a rabbit and a hare?

Rabbit and hare are not rodents

A rabbit and a hare have a lot in common. They belong to the order Lagomorphs, animals with two pairs of incisors in the upper jaw.

Thus, contrary to popular belief, hares and rabbits are not rodents with only one pair of incisors. The two animals have other things in common, of course, their large ears, as well as their way of walking on their hind legs. But apart from these similarities, we will see that the rabbit and the hare belong to two different species.

rabbit, pet

First, it’s important to remember that a rabbit is an animal that has been domesticated and is therefore legally sold in pet stores. The hare is a wild animal that is prohibited from being taken from the wild under pain of prosecution. They are also distinguished from each other:

  • their size
  • their social behavior
  • their number of chromosomes (44 in a rabbit, 48 in a hare!),
  • the gestation period of females (from 28 to 34 days in rabbits versus 40-42 days in hares).

Rabbit and hare: big difference

There are more than thirty species of hares in the world, the most common in our area is the white hare. Therefore, it is he who will interest us. The first difference between a hare and a rabbit is morphological. A hare is usually larger than a rabbit.

The first can reach 70 cm in length and weigh from 3 to 6 kg. With its long legs and long ears that can reach 14 cm and are always black-tipped, the silhouette of the European hare is more slender.

The rabbit is smaller and measures between 40 and 50 cm, rarely weighing more than 2 kg. However, there is a species of rabbit that is much more imposing… which, however, cannot be confused with a hare: the giant of Flanders. A rabbit that can weigh over 10 kg and reach 1 meter in length.

These morphological differences explain why the European hare, with its large feet, can move at 60 km/h. Its cousin, the Cape Hare, is capable of reaching speeds of up to 80 km/h. Bunny hats at 40! It is the same with the trigger: in a hare it reaches two meters, while in a rabbit it moves in small jumps that never exceed one meter.

Hares and rabbits lead their own way of life

The differences between hares and rabbits are not only physical, the two animals also have different lifestyles. Where rabbits live in groups and hate being alone, moving around the sometimes very difficult holes or galleries dug by them, hares live alone most of the time. They do not burrow, but instead live in fields and forests or in bush cover. They are mostly active at night, while rabbits are very active in the morning.

These different lifestyles are also explained by their youthfulness. When little rabbits are born, they are called rabbits, they are blind, deaf and naked. Defenseless, so they stay in a burrow well protected from predators. In hares, levro, the body is already covered with hair, and the eyes are open at birth. Therefore, they can run in case of danger. They grow very quickly and reach their adult size at the age of two months.


Read also:

⋙ Rabbits are digging up objects on a Welsh island that are thousands of years old.

⋙ Two animal rights activists convicted of ‘liberating’ lab rabbits

⋙ Cats, goats, rabbits… These funny animal photos are in the finals of the Comedy Pet Awards 2020

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