Animals / Mammal Facts / Rabbits, Hares and Pika - Food for the World / Jackrabbits and Hares - Big, Fast and Shy Leporids

Jackrabbits and Hares - Big, Fast and Shy Leporids


euro hare

European brown hare says don't eat me please

 

We have all heard the nursery rhyme; here comes Peter cottontail, hopping down the bunny trail, right? So what kind of bunny was Peter, a hare or a jackrabbit? Was he physically hopping or maybe just hip-hoppin? Will the world ever know? Maybe not, there is a cottontail rabbit but we imagine Peter as a European hare. Anyway, we can know how Mr. Peter might have lived, eaten and carried out his interesting little life.

 

 

black tail jackrabbit

Large black-tailed jackrabbit

 

Hares and jackrabbits are pretty much the same animal just different species. Really it depends on the location of the rabbit and the difference in the genes, although not much. Hares travel at amazing speeds of up to 45 mph (72 km/h) which helps them to easily escape any predators that might want them for dinner (that is if they can get running before the enemy strikes).

 

male jackrabbits

Males battling. Who is the toughest?

 

It’s what’s for dinner

There are many cultures around the globe that enjoy the hare for meals (not as an invited guest like in the fairy tales). Whether it is a main course or a light snack, they have been a part of the food chain of humans for hundreds of years. Also, their feet have been known to bring luck to the unluckiest of people. Many carry a rabbit’s foot around with them as they say it brings them luck. Really that comes down to what you believe.

 

Are you shy?

Normally hares are shy creatures by nature. They are not ones to stick around and enjoy a human’s company and eat a carrot from your hand. However, in the springtime some hares have been seen out playing in the grass which is not common at all. It was later determined this could be some kind of territorial marking between male hares. Although common, these animals are mysterious in many ways.

 

big ears

I'm just sunning my ears

 

What Big Ears you have!

Hares are the largest in their family and have the biggest ears. These ears can really set them apart just by first glance. Hares have their young in nests above ground while rabbits have their young underground. Also, as you may be aware, rabbits have been domesticated by humans. There are many who keep rabbits in their homes while jackrabbits have not made that appearance nor will they ever. Jackrabbits and hares are wonderful looking animals that have a lot of spunk and cuteness that is truly admired from a distance.

 

 

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