Friday, November 18, 2011

Final Winter Wednesday Mammals

I did not really understand blogs to much when I started and in going through old posts I realized that some that I had thought were posted were only drafts. This is one I found that I thought was worth posting. Better late than never.  :) It was dated 3.11.09
I chose a common mammal that I see on our property, the jackrabbit. I decided on it because I feel it is misunderstood and seldom paid attention to, with the exception of how to eradicate it.
I personally became emotionally more connected with them last summer when I began noticing that that can look different from each other, and also I was curious as to why there were baby rabbits by themselves in various places on our property.

I discovered that the Jack rabbit is actually a hare, which is different from a rabbit. Rabbits are clearly distinguished from hares in that rabbits are altricial, having young that are born blind and hairless. In contrast, hares are generally born with hair and are able to see (precocial). This would explain why I saw the little ones by themselves. I also found out that the mothers only nurse them twice a day. It is presumed that they do not go to them more often as to avoid having a predator following them. It is highly recommended that should a baby hare be found it should be left alone as the mother is nearby. Me in my ignorance, used to think the poor baby had been abandoned.

Jack Rabbit
All rabbits except the cottontail rabbit live underground in burrows or warrens, while hares live in simple nests above the ground (as does the cottontail rabbit), and usually do not live in groups. Hares are generally larger than rabbits, with longer ears, and have black markings on their fur. Hares have not been domesticated, while rabbits are often kept as house pets.


Hares and jackrabbits are leporids belonging to the genus Lepus. (There are four other species of leporid in the genera. Caprolagus and Pronolagus are also called "hares".) Very young hares, less than one year old, are called leverets.

Hares are very fast-moving. The European Brown Hare (Lepus europaeus) can run at speeds of up to 72 km/h (45 mph). They live solitary or in pairs, while "a drove of hares" is the collective noun for a group of hares.

Last year we had LARGE droves of hares.

footnote: our population of jack rabbits has greatly diminished as we are very happy about that. They eat everything!

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