What Is a Hare?

Whats The Difference Between A Bunny, A Rabbit, And A Hare? Published April 14, 2017 Lets start with the two that have scientific names. Hares and rabbits are both in the family Leporidae, but theyre separate species. Both animals have long ears, powerful back legs, and a divided upper lip. But, hares are larger than rabbits. And, instead of creating burrows, hares make nests in the grass. The exposed nesting sites of hares hint at another big differencewhen theyre born. Hares are precocial, born with their eyes open and fur grown in, which means they dont require a lot of parental care. Rabbits, on the other hand, are born naked, blind, and helpless, which is why its smart for them to live in more secure dens underground. Where did the word rabbit come from? Until the 18th century, rabbits were called coneys, based on the French conil, shortened from the Latin cuniculus. Rabbit first referred to the young of coneys until eventually the word took over in popularity. Incidentally, thats also the origin of the name Coney Island (or Rabbit Island), the beachside amusement park in New York. It is one of the only references to coney thats still used in North America. Where did the word hare come from? The word hare is a very old one in the English language. Developing from the Old English hara, hare is recorded before 900. The deeper roots of hare are Germanic in origin; compare the Danish word hare. Hare is related to the Dutch haas and German Hase. The Old English hasu meaning gray, may be connected to hare. Where did the word bunny come from? So, what about bunnies, and specifically the Easter bunny? Bunny was originally (and sometimes still is) used as a term of endearment for a young girl. Over time, it started to mean a young and/or small animal, and now it usually means a rabbit. But, when German immigrants brought the traditions of (Kriss Kringle and) the Easter hare. The night before Easter, children would find a quiet corner in their house and make a nest out of clothing for the Easter hare to come lay eggs (the origin of the Easter basket). The word hare was dropped on its way across the Atlantic and the fuzzier, cuddlier word bunny was applied in its place. Why a hare and not, you know, a chicken to lay those Easter eggs? The intensely short gestation period and well-known reproductive speed of hares and rabbits have a long cultural association with spring and fertility. Hares are usually shy and isolated creatures, but their spring mating ritual makes them most conspicuous to humans in March and April. The phrase mad as a March hare hints at that mating season, when hares can be seen boxing each other as part of their unruly courtship ritual. Eggs are also a fertility symbol, and during the Lent fast, Catholics were traditionally not allowed to eat eggs, so they became part of the Easter feast. Theres a lot happening in those relationships, but it seems that the bunny-egg entanglement is here to stay. Don’t Get Mixed Up Again! Get Dictionary.com tips to keep words straight … right in your inbox. 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Is a hare a rabbit?

Hares and rabbits are both in the family Leporidae, but they’re separate species. Both animals have long ears, powerful back legs, and a divided upper lip. But, hares are larger than rabbits. … Hares are precocial, born with their eyes open and fur grown in, which means they don’t require a lot of parental care.

What type of animal is hare?

hare, (genus Lepus), any of about 30 species of mammals related to rabbits and belonging to the same family (Leporidae). In general, hares have longer ears and longer hind feet than rabbits. While the tail is relatively short, it is longer than that of rabbits.

Is a hare a male or female?

What is a male and female hare called? A male hare is called a jack, a female is a jill.

What is difference rabbit and hare?

Generally speaking, hares are larger than rabbits and have longer ears and legs. They are also faster runners, which makes sense since they live in open spaces, like prairies, and need the speed to outrun predators.

Hares and jackrabbits are leporids belonging to the genus Lepus. Hares are classified in the same family as rabbits. They have similar herbivorous diets, but are generally larger in size than rabbits, have proportionately longer ears and live solitarily or in pairs. They do not dig burrows, but nest in slight depressions called forms, often in long grass. Also unlike rabbits, their young are able to fend for themselves shortly after birth rather than emerging blind and helpless. Having long, powerful hind legs, most are fast runners. Hare species are native to Africa, Eurasia, and North America.

[2][3] The five species of jackrabbits found in central and western North America are able to run at 64 km/h (40 mph) over longer distances, and can leap up to 3 m (10 ft) at a time. During this spring frenzy, animals of both sexes can be seen “boxing”, one hare striking another with its paws.

Hares do not bear their young below ground in a burrow as do other leporids, but rather in a shallow depression or flattened nest of grass called a form. Young hares are adapted to the lack of physical protection, relative to that afforded by a burrow, by being born fully furred and with eyes open. Hares are generally larger than rabbits, with longer ears, and have black markings on their fur.

In rural areas of North America and particularly in pioneer times, [11] they were a common source of meat. Because of their extremely low fat content, they are a poor choice as a survival food . Hares can be prepared in the same manner as rabbits commonly roasted or parted for breading and frying.

Hasenpfeffer (also spelled Hasenfeffer ) is a traditional Germanstew made from marinated rabbit or hare. Lagos stifado ( ) hare stew with pearl onions, vinegar, red wine, and cinnamon is a much-prized dish enjoyed in Greece and Cyprus and communities in the diaspora, particularly in Australia, where the hare is hunted as a feral pest. Jugged hare , known as civet de livre in France, is a whole hare, cut into pieces, marinated, and cooked with red wine and juniper berries in a tall jug that stands in a pan of water.

Jugged hare is described in the influential 18th-century cookbook, The Art of Cookery by Hannah Glasse , with a recipe titled, “A Jugged Hare“, that begins, “Cut it into little pieces, lard them here and there …” The recipe goes on to describe cooking the pieces of hare in water in a jug set within a bath of boiling water to cook for three hours. [17] Beginning in the 19th century, Glasse has been widely credited with having started the recipe with the words “First, catch your hare,” as in this citation. A freshly killed hare is prepared for jugging by removing its entrails and then hanging it in a larder by its hind legs, which causes the blood to accumulate in the chest cavity.

It is usual to roast a hare first, and to stew or jug the portion which is not eaten the first day. Seven of 10 stated they would refuse to eat jugged hare if it were served at the house of a friend or a relative. [25] Now, the hare is commonly associated with the Anglo-Saxon goddessostre , and therefore pagan symbols like the Easter Bunny have been appropriated into the Christian tradition .

[30] The conference organizers came up with the idea as a retort to an earlier claim by Russia’s Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky that humanities scholars were wasting government money conducting research on incomprehensible topics with names such as the one they chose. A study in 2004 followed the history and migration of a symbolic image of three hares with conjoined ears. The image has been traced from Christian churches in the English county of Devon right back along the Silk Road to China, via western and eastern Europe and the Middle East.

Before its appearance in China, it was possibly first depicted in the Middle East before being reimported centuries later. Its use is associated with Christian, Jewish , Islamic and Buddhist sites stretching back to about 600 CE. IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC), Lagomorph Specialist Group.

^ Ebenezer Cobham Brewer, Dictionary of Phrase and Fable , Cambridge University 2014, ^ The Popular Encyclopaedia 3.2., Glasgow 1836, ^ ” “: ” (“The Philosophy of the Hare: Unexpected perspectives in the research in the humanities”) ^ Chris Chapman (2004). Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lepus .Look up hare in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

: any of various swift, gnawing, herbivorous, usually shy lagomorph mammals (family Leporidae and especially genus Lepus ) that have long ears, short tails, and powerful long hind legs, are usually solitary or sometimes live in pairs, have the young open-eyed and furred at birth, and live in aboveground nests compare rabbitsense 1a

Believe it or not, rabbits and hares are completely different species, even though they look quite alike and are actually members of the same order of mammals (Lagomorpha). There are significant differences in physical appearance, behavior, and even lifestyles.

Baby rabbits called kittens or bunnies are born hairless and blind , totally dependent on their mothers. Baby hares called leverets are born with fur and sight, and they can move on their own within an hour of their birth.

Hare

Five leporid species with “hare” in their common names are not considered true hares: the hispid hare (A hare less than one year old is called a “leveret”. A group of hares is called a “husk”, a “down”, or a “drove”.

Biology[edit]

Hares are swift animals and can run up to 80 km/h (50 mph) over short distances.Normally a shy animal, the European brown hare changes its behavior in spring, when it can be seen in daytime chasing other hares. This appears to be competition between males to attain dominance for breeding. During this spring frenzy, animals of both sexes can be seen “boxing”, one hare striking another with its paws. This behavior gives rise to the idiom “mad as a March hare“.

Differences from rabbits[edit]

Most rabbits live underground in burrows or warrens, while hares live in simple nests above the ground, and usually do not live in groups. Hares do not bear their young below ground in a burrow as do other leporids, but rather in a shallow depression or flattened nest of grass called a form. Young hares are adapted to the lack of physical protection, relative to that afforded by a burrow, by being born fully furred and with eyes open. They are hence precocial, so are able to fend for themselves soon after birth. By contrast, rabbits are altricial, having young that are born blind and hairless.Hares are generally larger than rabbits, with longer ears, and have black markings on their fur. Hares have not been domesticated, while some rabbits are raised for food and kept as house pets. The domestic pet known as the Belgian Hare is a rabbit that has been selectively bred to resemble a hare.Hares have jointed, or kinetic, skulls, unique among mammals. They have 48 chromosomes, while rabbits have 44.

Folklore and mythology[edit]

The hare in African folk tales is a trickster; some of the stories about the hare were retold among African slaves in America, and are the basis of the Br’er Rabbit stories. The hare appears in English folklore in the saying “as mad as a March hare” and in the legend of the White Hare that alternatively tells of a witch who takes the form of a white hare and goes out looking for prey at night or of the spirit of a broken-hearted maiden who cannot rest and who haunts her unfaithful lover.Many cultures, including the Chinese, Japanese, and Mexican, see a hare in the pattern of dark patches in the moon (see Moon rabbit). The constellation Lepus is also taken to represent a hare.The hare was once regarded as an animal sacred to Aphrodite and Eros because of its high libido. Live hares were often presented as a gift of love.In European tradition, the hare symbolises the two qualities of swiftnessIn June 2014, the Pushkin House (the Institute of Russian Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences) hosted the international conference, “The Philosophy of the Hare: Unexpected perspectives in the research in the humanities”.

Three hares[edit]

A study in 2004 followed the history and migration of a symbolic image of three hares with conjoined ears. In this image, three hares are seen chasing each other in a circle with their heads near its centre. While each of the animals appears to have two ears, only three ears are depicted. The ears form a triangle at the centre of the circle and each is shared by two of the hares. The image has been traced from Christian churches in the English county of Devon right back along the Silk Road to China, via western and eastern Europe and the Middle East. Before its appearance in China, it was possibly first depicted in the Middle East before being reimported centuries later. Its use is associated with Christian, Jewish, Islamic and Buddhist sites stretching back to about 600 CE.

Place names[edit]

The hare has given rise to local place names, as they can often be observed in favoured localities. An example in Scotland is ‘Murchland’, ‘murchen’ being a Scots word for a hare.

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