Hares and Rabbits

Hares and rodents are very close cousins. Hares differ from rodents by having four incisors on their upper jaw, rather than two. Unlike many rodents, all hares have only very short tails. Today, this group includes only the 62 hares and rabbits and the 30 species of pikas. All follow a strictly vegetarian diet.

Hares are generally larger in size than rabbits, have longer ears and bigger feet, and run faster. Hares tend to live solitary lives in open areas, creating only shallow nests. Rabbits may gather in groups and nest in burrows. The young of the hares are born fully furred and with eyes open. The young of the rabbits are born without fur and with their eyes closed, requiring additional time hidden away before they face the world.

The Arctic hare is one of the largest in this group. Arctic hares can reach 28 inches in length and weigh up to 15 pounds.