The Difference Between Rabbits And Hares

By Jeff Kelly on Friday, August 23, 2013
Hare
“For shame, doc. Hunting rabbits with an elephant gun. Why don’t you shoot yourself an elephant?” —Bugs Bunny

In A Nutshell

Most people probably don’t know what differentiates a hare and a rabbit, and they are so remarkably similar that it’s understandable. Among other differences, hares are born with hair and open eyes, while rabbits are born naked and blind. Hares usually go it alone in life, but rabbits will form colonies with a dominant male.

The Whole Bushel

Let’s face it, most of us have probably always assumed that “hare” was just another name for a rabbit. After all, they look almost identical, have long ears and strong legs, and hop around. As it turns out, there are actually quite a few differences between the two animals.

For starters, the hare is from the genus Lepus, while the rabbit belongs to a host of genera, none of which is Lepus. Hares are typically brown or gray and are born with hair, open eyes, and the ability to fend for themselves within days of birth. Rabbits, on the other hand, are born hairless and blind. Hares are also more or less loners, while rabbits live in colonies, typically with a male becoming the alpha and mating with as many females within the colony as possible.

Also adding to the confusion is the fact that the jackrabbit is actually a hare, though another way to tell the difference between a rabbit and a hare is that a rabbit’s eyes are positioned on the sides of its head, allowing it to see behind itself should it encounter any predators or even bumbling hunters with speech impediments muttering about “wabbit season.”

Show Me The Proof

Hare vs Rabbit
Can you spot the difference between a rabbit and a hare?
What is the Difference Between Rabbits and Hares?