What is the difference between a Rabbit and a Hare?
There are two types of Hare in Britain, the Mountain Hare, which is the native species and now only lives in the heather moor land in the North of England and Scotland. This Hare is also known as the Arctic Hare and turns white in the winter. The Brown Hare covers most other regions of Britain.
A Rabbit is smaller than a Brown Hare. Rabbits can weigh up to 2kg, where as a Brown Hare can weigh between 3 and 4kg. Brown Hares can reach body lengths of between 52cm and 60cm with a tail of between 8cm and 12cm. Rabbits only reach body lengths of up to 40cm, with shorter tails than the Brown Hare.
Rabbits have long hind legs however Brown Hares are distinguishable by their much larger and powerful back legs. Brown Hares have longer ears than the Rabbit, Hares also commonly have black tips on the end of their ears which Rabbits lack. Brown Hares can also be distinguished from Rabbits by their large staring, yellow eyes. When Hares run they hold their tails down, showing the black upper side of the tail, while Rabbits hold their tail up showing the white underside.
Hares can usually be found living in exposed areas and can run at speeds up to 45mph to avoid predators such as foxes. Rabbits can be found anywhere they can burrow, however most suitable areas are where woodland edges meet hedgerows as burrow areas and food supply are closely linked.