Let's talk about the difference between a rabbit and a hare, because in practice they are two different animals, not a domestic and wild type of a single animal. Interestingly, the first originated in Europe, and the second is the birthplace of Eurasia. Read the article to the end, and we will give you an explanation of everything related to this topic. You will see the difference in their lifestyle, features of reproduction and nursing offspring. But you will understand the common features connecting representatives of one family of hares.
What distinguishes a hare from a rabbit can be seen visually, the main thing is to understand where to look. For the uninitiated, it may seem that there are two identical animals outwardly in front of them, since both species have long ears, powerful hind limbs, a round tail. But for the breeders of these animals the differences between them are obvious.
If you take a closer look, you will immediately notice the external differences. First, the dimensions of the animals. Almost always, rabbits are smaller than hares in size, not counting giant breeds. This is noticeable not only in terms of body size, but also along the length of the ears and hind legs.
The process of molting is also different: throwing off the old fur, the hares change color. In rabbit fur, everything remains unchanged. To distinguish between these animals, you should look at their little faces. In rabbits, it is slightly elongated with high eyes.
Reproductive characteristics of species
If the appearance of the animals of both species may be something similar, their reproductive functions are categorically different.
Differing gestation periods indicate that they are different animals. The hares breed only in the warm season, from April to September, and produce 1-2 babies. Their pregnancy lasts 2.5 months, and babies are born almost independent and can fully eat in 5-7 days.
Rabbits breed throughout the year and up to 8 cubs are produced for 1 okrol. They bear offspring for 1 month, but their babies are born completely helpless, and mothers have to take care of them for a long time.
What is the difference between hares and rabbits, so it is in relation to the cubs. The first throw their offspring almost immediately, the second - caring for babies up to several months.
Habitat and intraspecific relationships
The difference between a rabbit and a hare is especially noticeable when you compare their lifestyle. The latter lead a solitary existence. They do not gather in flocks and do not create a family. Males and females are found only for procreation, and then no more than a few days.
What makes rabbits and hares different is their habitat. The latter can not lead a sedentary lifestyle. They need to constantly move, learn new territory. They breed their offspring under bushes or fallen trees.
Rabbits, on the contrary, are sedentary. They make their own houses by themselves: they make nests or make holes. Animals settle families. Over the years, they expand their habitat, digging out whole underground tunnels, and can leave them only in case of danger. Animals are extremely friendly and willing to go with people to contact.
Discrepancies in character and behavioral signs
Watching the behavior of animals, it is not difficult to understand how to distinguish a hare from a rabbit. Rabbits remain friendly even in the wild. For the docility and mild nature of these animals and appreciate the livestock. They are calm and easily tamed, and they differ with their inhospitable brethren.
The difference between hares is that they do not tolerate bondage. All attempts to tame them failed. Animals in a cage are constantly trying to get out at will and do not tolerate imprisonment. But because of the value of fur and excellent meat, these animals constantly hunt in the wild.
Unlike gullible rabbits, hares do not allow strangers to come to them. They are very strong and hardy, which helps them survive in difficult conditions. They have a wonderful sense of smell, sight, and hearing that help them identify the danger and avoid it. The solitary ears prefer nightlife and sit in a safe place during the day.
Crossing species: myth or reality
Let's see how a rabbit differs from a hare in the matter of crossing species. Information that such breeding work was carried out is not a myth. But not a single scientist has managed to achieve a positive result in research. The conclusion suggests itself: despite the resemblance, pairing between them is impossible.
All work on the breeding of new breeds is in no way connected with interspecific crossing. And all because they have a different genetic code: hares have 24 pairs of chromosomes, and rabbits only 22. And this, at first glance, insignificant difference is enough to attribute animals to different species.
Scientists have still not been able to fully understand the genetic code, but what they know is enough to state with certainty that one extra pair of chromosomes makes animals completely different.
To cross a rabbit and a hare is the same as connecting a human with a monkey. Even if you settle the same-sex animals in the same cage, they will not begin to experience sexual attraction, but only distrust and hostility.
The taste of meat
It is no secret that the hare and rabbit are valued for excellent dietary meat. Most animal breeders contain animals just to get this product in demand. But for beginning farmers it is important to understand how different they are among themselves, so as not to be mistaken in building a business plan.
Interspecific differences lies the secret of obtaining this product. Rabbits are raised for slaughter, and hare is produced by hunting. For this reason, some consider the meat of the latter more delicious. But this is a matter of taste, let us dwell on the fact that the hare meat is more rigid and preference is given to females.
What differences it is worth mentioning is the color of the meat. Rabbit has a dark red color, while rabbit acquires only a slightly pinkish tint. This is due to the fact that in the wild, eared shoots and blood does not have time to drain from the carcass. That is why before cooking it must be soaked and marinated.
Hares run faster rabbits
We are talking about the difference between hares and rabbits, but it does not hurt to determine the similarity of these animals:
- external physiology;
- taste preferences;
- seasonality molt.
The similarity between the rabbit and the hare is that they belong to the hare mammals. The rest of the animals do not resemble each other.
Above, we have already said that hares are larger than rabbits, but there are several other important nuances:
- the mass of domestic rabbits of large breeds is greater than that of wild hares;
- paws are always longer in hares;
- rabbits run slower.
Proving the last statement is easy: the speed of the rabbits is only 25 km / h, while the hares can accelerate to 70 km / h. That is why traps are set to catch them, because it’s impossible to catch up with these animals.
Continue to get acquainted with eared, reading our article "How many teeth have rabbits" and "What sounds rabbits can make."
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