The European Hare (Lepus europaeus) is a lagomorph, specifically a leporid mammal, such as hares and rabbits. It is also known as the Brown Hare.
The European Hare has grey, rufous (red-brown), or brown fur. It has a white underbelly. It has black-tipped elongated ears, long legs, a flexible neck, and a short, stub, white tail, called a scut. It has large incisors (front teeth) as well as cheek teeth. It has orange-brown eyes.
Its head and body length can range from 60-75 centimetres (24-30 inches), with a tail length of 7-11 centimetres (3-4 inches). Its ears range from 9-11 centimetres (3.5-4 inches).
The European Hare is native to Europe. It prefers temperate, open countrysides. It is terrestrial, living on the ground and underground in burrows.
It is herbivorous, feeding on grass, weeds, and herbs, as well as twigs, bark, flower buds, and vegetables. Its large incisor teeth enable it to cut grass. Its teeth grow continuously. It forages in groups, with some hares keeping guard in case of danger.
Its predators include birds of prey, dogs, foxes, wolves, cats, and wild cats.
Generally nocturnal and shy in nature, it is most active at night. In spring, it is active in the day time, during the breeding season. It has wide nostrils (nose holes) and a large heart, which enable it to run fast. It can run at 72 kilometres per hour (45 miles per hour).
The male is called a buck and the female is called a doe. The doe gives birth in a hollow depression in the ground. She is pregnant for about 42 days, before giving birth to 2-4 live young in each litter. The young, called leverets, are precocial, because they are born with fur. They can leave the nest soon after birth.
The European Hare lives, on average, for 2-4 years.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM