Are rabbits and hare totally distinct?
Various people think that rabbits and hare are the same, but the truth is that they are entirely different species. People think they are the same because they look alike and are members of the same mammals’ order. You need to understand that they have significant differences in behaviour, lifestyle, and physical appearance.
Opposites since birth
They are entirely distinctive from the time they are born. Baby hares are bigger, have large ears, and are comparatively less social than rabbits. Baby rabbits are called bunnies, and they are born hairless and blind; they are utterly reliant on their mothers as they are underdeveloped. Additionally, they cannot even regulate their own temperature. Rabbit’s pregnancy lasts for around 30-31 days.
Baby hares are termed leverets, and they are born with loads of hair, larger hind legs, black markings, and have a vision. The significant difference is that they can start moving within an hour after they are born. A hare’s pregnancy lasts for 42 days.
Colour of the fur
The colour of the rabbit’s hair remains the same all year round, but the hare’s colour of fur changes from brown/grey in the summer and then white in the winters.
You would be surprised to know that even their nests are completely dissimilar. Hares love living above the ground. They do not even live like rabbits as they have a warren system or typical burrow. Just the cottontail (a type of American rabbit) rabbits are known to make nests above the ground, similar to hares.
Hares are more like hermits
As compared to rabbits, hares are not social. Usually, the rabbits live in a group of more than 15 individuals, which is called a colony. On the other hand, hares are said to be solitary creatures who love living alone. They might come together during winters or for courting purposes. (See How Are Ponies and Horses Different?)
Just like other things, here also lays a difference as they tend to have different food choices. Rabbits love eating soft grass and vegetables, particularly carrots. In contrast, hare prefers eating more hardened bark and twigs.
Response to danger
As their habitat is different, so are their ways of responding to any threat. Because rabbits live underground, they hide below the ground only. On the contrary, the hare uses its long and healthy hind legs to run away from any danger. (See How Are Slugs and Snails Different?)
Rabbits are very social and like living in groups, which shows a sign of being friendly. Hence, rabbits can be tamed and kept as pets, whereas hares stay wild.
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