What is the difference between the European Hare (Lepus europaeus) and the Patagonian Mara (Dolichotis patagonum)?
The European Hare is a lagomorph, specifically a leporid mammal, related to rabbits. It is also known as the Brown Hare. The Patagonian Mara is a large rodent. It is also known as the Patagonian Hare or the Patagonian Cavy, but it is not a hare and it is not related to hares or rabbits. The Patagonian Mara is a cavid, related to the guinea pig.
The European Hare looks like a large rabbit, whereas the Patagonian Mara looks like a mixture of a hare, a jackrabbit, and a guinea pig.
The European Hare and the Patagonian Hare have grey or brown fur, a white underbelly, long ears and long legs with a short tail.
The European Hare and the Patagonian Hare have two large front teeth (incisors) to gnaw plants. They are both herbivorous.
The European Hare has cheek teeth, whereas the Patagonian Mara does not have cheek teeth.
The European Hare and the Patagonian Mara grow to 69-75 centimetres (27-30 inches) long, but the European Hare has longer ears.
The European Hare is native to Europe, whereas the Patagonian Mara is native to Argentina and parts of Patagonia in South America.
The European Hare and the Patagonian Mara are terrestrial, living on the ground and in underground burrows or dens.
The European Hare is generally nocturnal, active at night, and diurnal during springtme, whereas the Patagonian Mara is mainly diurnal, active during the day.
The European Hare hops, whereas the Patagonian Mara does not hop like a hare, but instead, it runs like a deer.
The female European Hare, called a doe, gives birth to 2-4 live young, called leverets, whereas the female Patagonian Mara gives birth to 1-2 live young, called pups.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM