With Easter coming up on April 9th, 2023, We wanted to talk about Rabbits. To be exact we wanted to compare Rabbits and Hares. Rabbits and Hares are part of a group called Lagomorphs.
Lagomorphs are small mammals with four incisors in the upper jaw and need to eat often to reduce their teeth growing WAY too long.(1) They have no pads on the bottom of their paws, just fur. Lagomorphs are 3 types of mammals called Hares, Rabbits & Pikas.
There are different types of Hares worldwide, but Mexico, Canada & the US have diverse populations of jackrabbits.
There are different types of rabbits worldwide, but Cottontails normally live in North & Central America and northern & central South America.
Size & Colour
These guys are the bigger type of two-legged hoppers with long powerful hind-legs, tall ears that help dissipate heat from the body, and they usually have black markings on the tips of the ears. Their ears can be almost as long as their entire body, going almost six inches or longer. (2&3)
Rabbits are usually the small little guys who have stub tails with white undersides that show when they run away (not common in all-cotton tails), with long ears that for some, droop to the sides as well as stand straight up. Cottontails are also smaller and more hunched into themselves when moving about and normally try to stay low to the ground.
Blog Header_RabbitsVSHares by Tiera Harrison
Mating Season & Babies
The term “Bunny” is used for baby rabbits as they are normally the small tiny babies everyone pictures. Adult female rabbits average 3 litters a year in any season, a litter is often 4 babies but can be between 2 - 8 babies a litter, just like Jackrabbits. Rabbit babies become full adults by 3 months of age but cannot care for themselves right away due to being born bald and blind.
Jackrabbits have about a one to five-year lifespan and mate often to make litters that get between 2-8 babies per litter. Can you imagine 8 babies at once every time you have them?
The young are born in a shallow depression in some grass called a “form” and can defend and protect themselves almost right away after being born. They can defend themselves right away because they are born covered in fur and able to see.
Hares and Jackrabbits are herbivores and normally live secondarily. This means they have an attitude toward others and have often been seen fighting each other by slapping them with their front paws. They are not easily cared for which makes the species undomesticated
These little guys usually live for up to 2 years and are normally very easy to domesticate.
Rabbits often vary in size from the pygmy rabbit at 7.9 inches and 0.9 pounds to Darius the rabbit, who holds the Guinness World Record title for the world’s longest bunny at 4 feet 4 inches and weighs about 50 pounds! (5)
Rabbits and Hares are pretty similar in all kids' eyes, but spotting the difference can help these guys while we’re out in the wild. Making sure to understand the difference between animals and getting used to noticing small details can be one of the most important parts of being around animals' natural habitats.