CLASSIFICATION OF HARE : LEPUS
PHYLUM :- CHORDATA (Notochord, dorsal tubular nerve cord present and gill slits present )
Group :- CRANIATA ( Definite head. Cranium with brain present )
Sub-phylum :- VERTEBRATA ( vertebral column present)
Division :- GNATHOSTOMATA ( Jaws and paired appendages present )
Super class :- TETRAPODA ( Paired limbs, lungs, bony skeleton and cornified skin).
Class :-MAMMALIA ( Body covered with hairs. females have mammary glands ).
Sub-class :- THERIA ( Viviparous ).
Infra class :- EUTHERIA ( Placental mammals, vagina single ).
Order :- LAGOMORPHA ( 7 Upper incisors 2 pairs ).
Genus : Lepus
Cosmopoliton, occupying most of North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. A typical species is the European hare (L. europaeus) of central and southern Europe, the Middle East, and Asia westward into Siberia.
HABIT AND HABITAT
Inhabiting fields, grasslands and woodlands. Gregarious, crepuscular (coming out of burrows for feeding in twilight, coprophagous (eating again their soft stool for maximum nourishment). Polygmous, nocturnal, solitary, nomadic and living in temporary shelters.
GENERAL CHARACTERSTICS OF LEPUS : HARE
- Commonly called as Hare.
- Larger than rabbits. 50 to 70 cm long from mouth to anus. Body colour brown dorsally while ventral side is white.
- Body divisible into head, neck, trunk or back, chest and abdomen.
- Head contains eyes, tactile whiskers, nares, and longer erect external ears, snout, external nares and mouth. Ears contain external auditory meatus.
- Forelimbs and hind limbs more or less equal. Tail short and bushy.
- Runs at a speed of 60 km per hour.
- Finely developed sense of hearing, smell, and vision.
- They are nocturnal animal that spends the night awake and the day sleeping.
- A group of hares is called a “drove”.
- A hare less than one year old is called a leveret.
- The front teeth never stop growing throughout its life. The animal must grind the teeth down by chewing on grass.
- They are typically adorned with white, black, gray, tan, or reddish-orange colors to blend in with the surroundings.
- They are also excellent swimmers that can traverse rivers and large bodies of water without a problem.
The animal has long erect pinnae and above features, hence it is Hare.
DIFFERENCE FROM RABBIT
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, and are able to fend for themselves soon after birth. By contrast, rabbits are altricial, having young that are born blind and hairless.
They 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.