Difference Between Jack Rabbit and a Hare

Hares and Jackrabbits are the genus Lepus, which belongs to the Leporidae family. Both are small herbivorous mammals that usually feed on grass and plants and are wild relatives of rabbits. However, there are a few differences between hares and Jackrabbits as their family, genus make them slightly distinguishable.

Both jack rabbits and hares look different and can be spotted a mile off. One of the features that make a rabbit distinguishable among a group of Leporidae is its ears. Rabbit’s ears can be as long as 10 cm, giving it the ability to hear danger at a safe distance. On the other hand, hares possess much shorter ears, but their legs are more flexible, helping them thump on the ground.


  • 1


    Hare loves to live in territory, and is often called a territorial animal. It can move, thump and sprint freely, (when he is not facing hurdles on the ground). There are thirty species of hares in the world which differ by their size, color or lifestyle.

    Hares are relatively solitary animals living sometimes in pairs. Hares are thin, light and have long hind legs. Their muscular and flexible legs allow them to propel and run very fast when they see danger in the form of other animals. European hares can move at a speed of 60 km / h on average and up to 80 km / h, and can also make leaps of 2 meters vertically, which is impressive for an animal of its size.

    Gestation period in hares is almost the same as jack rabbits, which is 40 to 50 days. They usually have two or three litters per year and have three pairs of teats (in female hares). In the European hare, the breeding season is usually from January to November.

    Image courtesy: needled.files.wordpress.com

  • 2

    Jack Rabbit

    Jack Rabbit can be as large as 46 to 64 cm, having gray-brown fur. It can also be completely white or beige on the back and white on the belly. It weighs between 1.5 and 3kg in adulthood. Some rabbits are found to have ears as large as 11-16 cm long, and with black tip.

    Its tail is usually between 5 and 10 cm long, with a white border and also has black markings. Black markings may extend over the rump in some rabbits. There is no sexual dimorphism in this specie, but the female is usually larger than the male. Gestation period (or birth of a new rabbit) in rabbits lasts forty days (between 41 and 47 days). They are born with fur and their eyes open very quickly, normally in a few days. The mother stays with them for two or three days later, but only returns for breastfeeding.  

    Image courtesy: farm4.static.flickr.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

− one = 1