Rabbits and hares look awfully similar
You may have even heard of people keeping Belgian hares as pets! Belgian hares are actually a breed of domesticated rabbit – surprised? And what about jackrabbits? I can tell you that a jackrabbit, despite it’s confusing name, is not a rabbit! The people who gave these animals their names obviously wanted to make things difficult for the rest of us. The differences between rabbits and hares will be described in this article.
I have also written an article about 10 interesting rabbit and hare facts. Go check it out.
Before looking at the differences, lets see what similarities they have first. Both mammals belong to the same order called Lagomorpha and family Leporidae. They have a similar body shape, with hares being larger. The rabbit and the hare share the same diet. Cottontail rabbits are the only type of rabbit that prefers to live above ground like hares.
Difference between hares and rabbits
Now, the main differences between the two are exhibited at birth. The rabbit and the hare differ in that rabbits give birth in a warren so the kits are underground and hares like to make a small nest from flattened grass. Hares are able to have their young above ground because unlike rabbits, their young are precocial which means they are at an advanced stage when born in comparison to rabbits which are altricial. Hares are born with open eyes and fur. They are able to move and look after themselves shortly after being born. Rabbits on the other hand are born both blind and naked. They require a lot of care from their mother before they can fend for themselves. These are the key differences between the rabbit and the hare. Here are some more histories and facts about rabbit.
What about Belgian hares and Jackrabbits
Belgian hares are rabbits bred to look like hares for meat. Unfortunately the resulting rabbit was unsuitable to be farmed and became a rare rabbit breed. They are said to be quite intelligent and have the ability to learn their names. The Belgian hare is an active rabbit. The jackrabbit is simply a species of hare. There are several types, such as the black-tailed jackrabbit and the white-tailed jackrabbit.
Oh, before I forget, one of the major things that set the rabbit and the hare apart is that humans have domesticated the rabbit so we can have them as our companions.