Difference Between Rabbit vs Hare
When you were a little kid, could you tell a leopard from a jaguar, a moth from a butterfly, or a crocodile from an alligator? The answer is probably no. Guess what? You are not alone. As a matter of fact, a good number of grown-ups cannot distinguish between those and more, including the difference between rabbit and hare.
Both of these creatures are similar, not just in the way they look, but also for a few other facts like being prey to vicious predators like lions, coyotes, wolves, humans, and so on. They are prolific breeders and notorious pests to farmers.
Definition of Rabbit
A rabbit is defined as a hairy rodent that lives in colonies and is characterized by its altricial and social nature. Altricial means that they are born with no hairs or eyes, and as a result, need to totally depend on their mothers for the first eight weeks of their lives.
This is a huge contrast in the hare vs rabbit comparison considering that the former is precocial, meaning they have their fur and hair right from birth.
In comparison, their ears are not quite as long, nor are their legs, making it possible for them to run way slower. They make holes in the ground by burrowing, and they live in there with their little ones. Their natural habitat is the meadows, wetlands, desserts, wood, grasslands, etc.
Their body structure is quite similar to that of the bunnies. Long ears, strong hind limbs, and a pair of front paws. These rodents are smaller in size and live in colonies, making them quite social. They forage for and eat their food in large groups.
Definition of Hare
A hare is defined as a brownish-gray furry mammal characterized by a relatively larger skull, longer rear limbs, and a longer set of ears with unique dark patterns. Note that this definition is relative to the difference between hare and rabbit. They are larger than the latter, and as such, enjoy some advantages. For instance, because it has longer legs, it can outrun the latter and their predators in some cases.
Female hares would naturally carry their young for a period of thirty to thirty-one days before putting them to bed. A great deal of development takes place during the gestation period, so their little ones are delivered with their fur, eyes, and all in place. Before delivery, the females make shallow depressions in the ground and produce about four to six litters of little ones at a time.
Let us talk about the dramatic seasonal color changes these mammals experience. To put it lightly, they have the biological ability to adapt to changing environments.
A particular specie known as snow hares change from brown to white during winter, and from white to brown during summer. According to researchers, identified expression of the Agouti pigmentation gene as the underlying driver of the autumnal color change.
Main Differences Between Rabbit vs Hare
|Basis of Comparison||Rabbit||Hare|
|Definition||A hairy rodent that lives in colonies and is characterized by its altricial and social nature||A brownish-gray furry mammal characterized by a relatively larger skull, longer rear limbs, and a longer set of ears with unique dark patterns|
|Condition after birth||Altricial||Precocial|
|Specie||Over 50||About 30|
|Habitat||Wood, dessert, wetland, grassland, forest, meadows||Open and extensive areas like grassy hills and Arctic tundra|
|Diet||They feed on soft stems, vegetables, or grasses||They prefer foods that are generally harder like weeds, tree barks, small twigs, shoots, etc.|
|Ears||Long ears||Longer ears with dark markings|
|Life span||Nine to twelve years||Ten years|
Difference Between Rabbit and Hare: Conclusion
If you can understand the summary in the table above, then you can sure tell the disparities in a rabbit vs hare comparison. The key ones include their sizes – the latter is generally bigger than the former; their ears – that of the latter is longer; and their social nature – the former is always in a colony, unlike the latter that lives a solitary life and only meets up with a partner to mate and procreate.