Hare ( Lepus europaeus)

The hares ( Leporidae ) are a mammalian family from the order of lagomorphs ( Lagomorpha ). Of the approximately 55 species are probably the indigenous hare and wild rabbits or its cultivated forms, the domestic rabbits, the best-known representatives.


Originally lacked the hare in southern South America, Australia and the oceanic space as well as on remote islands. Today the members of this family are found on all continents except Antarctica, since they were introduced by humans in areas where they were not native.


Rabbits reach a head -body length of 25 to 70 centimeters and a weight from 0.4 to 7 kilograms. The fur color varies from white to mostly gray to brownish. Not all rabbits have long ears, which are known from the genuine rabbit, but in all species they are longer than wide. The hind legs are longer than the front legs and good for running. The face is characterized by a Y-shaped column of the upper lip to the nose holes for the sometimes occurring in humans, " harelip " was eponymous.

Way of life

Hares inhabit a variety of habitats, from tundra grasslands to tropical forests. It represents primarily crepuscular and nocturnal animals, which, on the particular species, living in community or dependent as a loner. Only the European wild rabbit digs a earthworks. All other rabbits seek shelter under bushes and rocks, or else build as living in the arctic snow hare a building in the snow.

Rabbits are herbivores, they feed on grasses, herbs, leaves and flowers. They exhibit a behavior known as the Caecotrophie: Except for a normal solid stools they produce in the cecum vitaminhaltigeren a softer feces, which is taken up and swallowed immediately after deposition. This is collected in the Cardiaregion the stomach and digested again. Part of the food happens to this way twice the digestive system and is better digested. Thus, the vitamins formed in the gut may be added.


Generally, rabbits are characterized by a high fertility rate. Several times a year the female can give birth to offspring, the gestation period is around 25 to 50 days, litter size is an average of two to eight, sometimes up to 15 boys.



Pikas ( Ochotonidae / Ochotona )

Busch rabbits ( Poelagus marjorita )

Rotkaninchen ( Pronolagus )

Stripe rabbit ( Nesolagus )

Volcano rabbit ( Romerolagus diazi )

Wild rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus)

Bristle rabbits ( Caprolagus hispidus )

Bushman Hare ( Bunolagus monticularis )

Ryukyu Rabbit ( Pentalagus furnessi )

Cottontail rabbits ( Sylvilagus )

Dwarf rabbits ( Brachylagus )

True hares (Lepus )

Rabbits are the order of lagomorphs ( Lagomorpha ) together with the pikas. The systematic position of this order has long been discussed many times, the animals were considered as a member of rodents.

The family is divided into two subfamilies with eleven genera and about 55 species. The adjacent cladogram shows the phylogenetic relationship of the individual genera within the hare. It is based on molecular data and was designed by Conrad A. Matthee et al. Developed in 2004.

The genera of hares are:

  • Dwarf rabbits ( Brachylagus idahoensis ) - the dwarf rabbits offered in the pet trade, however, are not agents of this type, but a variant of domestic rabbits
  • Bushman Hare ( Bunolagus monticularis )
  • Bristle rabbits ( Caprolagus hispidus )
  • True hares (Lepus ) with about 30 species
  • Stripe rabbit ( Nesolagus ) with 2 species, including the Sumatran rabbit
  • Wild rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) - all known forms of breeding domestic rabbits are descended from this type
  • Ryukyu Rabbit ( Pentalagus furnessi )
  • Busch rabbits ( Poelagus marjorita )
  • Rotkaninchen ( Pronolagus ) with 3 types
  • Volcano rabbit ( Romerolagus diazi )
  • Cottontail rabbits ( Sylvilagus ) with 13 species

"Rabbit" and " rabbit "

The division of this family in hares and rabbits is not systematic. " Rabbit " is not a systematic taxon, " hands" - not in the sense of the whole family ( Leporidae ), but as a group of species or genera - only if it is restricted to the genus of the Real hares (Lepus ). Some genres that Rotkaninchen ( Pronolagus ), for example, are sometimes occasionally referred to as rabbits, as rabbits. Nevertheless, a number of features lead, who will decide whether a genus as a hare or rabbit is called:

  • Rabbits usually have longer ears and powerful hind legs than rabbits.
  • Rabbits dig burrows, while rabbits live in the open field.
  • Bunnies are usually loners, while some rabbit species, such as the wild rabbit, sociable life.
  • Newborn rabbits are naked and blind to the world and are altricial, whereas newborn rabbits have fur and open eyes and are precocial.