Difference between Hare and Rabbit

Even though hares and rabbits are mammals and belong to the same family, there are some important differences between them.

Comparison table

Kingdom animalia animalia
Edge Chordata Chordata
Class high Varied
Order mammalia mammalia
Family Lagomorpha Lagomorpha
Gender Lepus, caprolagus and pronalagus. Pentalagus, bunolagus, nesolagus, etc.
Diet Hares follow a strictly vegetarian diet. Rabbits eat a strictly vegetarian diet.

Content: Hare vs. rabbit

1. Physical Characteristics
2. Behavior
2.1 Similarities
3. Miscellaneous
4. References

physical characteristics

There are some physical differences between hares and rabbits that allow us to distinguish between them.

  • Hares are usually larger and faster than rabbits.
  • They also have longer ears and legs than rabbits.
  • Almost all hares have black markings on their skin.
  • Rabbit pups are altricial, which means they are born hairless and blind. In contrast, the young of almost all hares are precocial (or early). This means that they are born with hair, they are able to see and hear as well as defend themselves immediately after being born.
  • With respect to the offspring, those of the hares are called lebratos. As for the rabbit’s offspring, they are called rabbits.
  • The hind legs of hares are very long and strong, those of rabbits are shorter and not as strong.
  • During spring and autumn, hares and rabbits shed their hair. Hares that live in cold areas change their brown or gray fur for a white one. Rabbits, on the other hand, shed their dark summer fur for a lighter one in winter.
  • Hunters are of the opinion that hare meat is usually more pronounced in flavor than rabbit meat. As for rabbit meat, it has a slight chicken flavor.
  • Both hares and rabbits have small tails.


  • Hares have not been domesticated, while rabbits are often common pets.
  • All rabbits (with the exception of the cottontail rabbit) live in burrows under the ground. Within these they give birth and care for their young. Hares, on the other hand, live in “nests” on the ground (just like the cottontail rabbit). They prefer to run in the face of danger, contrary to rabbits, who prefer to hide.
  • Rabbits are very social animals and live in colonies. Male rabbits come to establish hierarchies. The strongest is the one that will have the right to reproduce with more females within an area. On the other hand, hares are solitary animals. They only come together during the breeding season. Hares don’t fight, they just breed.
  • Rabbits prefer to eat soft textures, such as stems, grass, and vegetables. Hares eat harder foods: tree bark, flower buds, branches and shoots.


  • Both breed very prolifically. In fact, they can have four to eight litters per year.
  • Each litter of rabbits is made up of three to eight pups. Their gestation period lasts approximately one month and they reach sexual maturity at six months of age. In the wild they can live up to six years.
  • Hares and rabbits are considered game prizes, and their meat and skin are used for human consumption. However, in some places they are also considered pests, especially farmers and gardeners. This is because they destroy crops and trees.


  • Rabbits’ eyes are located on the sides of their heads to cover larger areas visually. Thanks to this, rabbits can see what is happening behind them without turning their heads.
  • A rabbit’s eyes remain black by reflecting light. In contrast, human eyes reflect a red color and the eyes of dogs and cats a green color.
  • As for the domestication of the rabbit, it dates back to 500 BC in China.
  • Pet rabbits can live up to ten years with ideal care.

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