What Are the Differences Between Rabbits and Hares?

Is that fluffy creature an Easter bunny or an Easter hare? Are they the same thing? Or are they completely distinct? Are we just splitting hares? Help!

Surprisingly, rabbits and hares are entirely different species, despite their similar appearance and membership in the same mammal order (Lagomorpha). There are significant variations in their physical characteristics, behavior, and even lifestyles.

Rabbits and hares differ right from birth. Baby rabbits, also known as kittens or bunnies, are born without fur and blind, relying entirely on their mothers. Baby hares, called leverets, are born with fur and sight, and they can move independently within an hour after birth.

Hares tend to be larger than rabbits, having longer hind legs and ears with black markings. While rabbits’ fur remains the same color throughout the year, hares change their color from brown or gray in the summer to white in the winter.

Rabbits and hares also have distinct dietary preferences. Rabbits prefer softer grasses and vegetables (like carrots!), whereas hares enjoy consuming harder bark and twigs.

Rabbits create their homes underground in burrows, while hares construct nests above ground. Only the cottontail rabbit is known to build above-ground nests similar to those of hares.

Their divergent living habits result in different responses to danger. Rabbits prefer to hide underground, whereas hares use their longer and stronger hind legs to flee from threats.

Rabbits can be domesticated and kept as pets, while hares remain wild. This aligns with their behavior in the wild.

Rabbits are typically social animals that live in groups, whereas hares spend most of their time alone and only pair up occasionally for mating.

Now you know the differences between rabbits and hares! Share your knowledge and try out these classic jokes on someone you know:

Q: What’s the best way to catch a unique rabbit?

A: Unique up on it!

Q: How can you catch a rabbit in the woods?

A: Hide behind a tree and make a sound like a carrot!

Give It a Try

We hope today’s Wonder of the Day had you jumping for joy! Make sure to engage in the following activities with a friend or family member:

Looking to easily distinguish between rabbits and hares?

Go online and read the article “Hare vs. Rabbit” to discover intriguing differences between these two species. The article also includes various pictures of both creatures. Do you think you could now accurately identify a rabbit or a hare in their natural habitat? Explain why or why not.

What if a wild hare encountered a lost pet rabbit in the forest?

Would the hare take it in and help it find its way back home? Or would it bring it to its nest and attempt to teach it how to survive in the wild? The outcome is up to you! Write a brief story based on this scenario and share it with your friends and family. Feel free to let your imagination run wild! You can even illustrate your story by drawing accompanying pictures. Enjoy!

Spring has arrived, and Easter is the perfect time to engage in bunny-themed crafts.

Explore the following links to discover enjoyable craft ideas that you can do with a friend or family member: Bunny Rabbit Ears, Egg Carton Easter Bunny Container, Paper Bag Bunny Puppet, Rabbit Windsock.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *