Rabbit and Hare – Long Ears Strong Legs
Rabbits and hares are mammals with long ears. Hares have longer ears and longer legs than rabbits. There are about 28 species of rabbit and about 30 species of hare. They have short tails, large eyes, strong teeth, and sensitive noses. Many hares turn white in the winter. Rabbits’ coats are the same color year-round. Hares and rabbits can be found on all continents, except Antarctica.
Rabbits live together in warrens. A female makes a warm and deep nest to keep the babies safe. Little rabbits are born blind and helpless and stay with their mother for about three weeks. Hares don’t build warrens. Their homes are shallow holes that they dig in the grass, under trees, or in brush heaps. Hares may have two to three babies each year. The newborns have open eyes and can hop within minutes.
Rabbits and hares eat green plants such as clover as well as the bark, buds, and berries of trees and shrubs. By the way, hares can eat meat. Northern hunters know this very well, and therefore they try to check their snares for partridges before bloodthirsty hares.
Some American rabbits are called “cottontails” because their tails are small puffs of fur that are white on the bottom.
Hares can run up to 80 km per hour, and the height of their jump reaches 3.5 meters. In addition, the hares are not bad swimmers and are able to move around the rocky terrain.
Their natural enemies are birds of prey, mammals, and reptiles. Hares are quite aggressive creatures who can often defeat predators.
Rabbits that live in hot parts usually have bigger ears than those that live in cold areas. Larger ears help animals stay cool.
The volcano rabbit, also known as the Mexican pygmy rabbit, is one of the few species of short–eared rabbits. Its rounded ears measure just 4 centimeters long.
Scientists argue that the ancestors of modern rabbits cheerfully hopped thirty-five thousand years ago.
One of the most ancient and common beliefs is that the hare’s foot brings luck.
Hares and rabbits are extremely controversial figures in world mythology. They can be cunning and quirky, timid and weak, and they also symbolize life and the afterlife. The ancient Celts considered these animals to be magical creatures and therefore did not eat them. In the Middle Ages it was believed that witches turned into hares to avoid the punishing hand of the Inquisition.
In China, the hare is the Moon, the female power of yin, the wife of the emperor, longevity. The hare is the keeper of wild animals.
In Egypt, the hare represents the dawn, the beginning, the opening and the periodicity.
Easter bunny is a symbol of Easter in some countries of Western Europe and the USA.