“Amazing” Hare

During courtship. When the male rabbit runs under the female rabbit’s body, the female rabbit will jump into the air.

In 1994, the hare, which was introduced from Europe and then flooded, was listed as a disaster animal by the State of Victoria, Australia. Since the hares were released near Westport Bay in Australia in 1862, they have been densely distributed in most of the grasslands of Australia. They often destroy trees and crops. Gnawing the grassland severely damaged the ecological environment and caused serious economic losses to the local area. People use methods such as trapping, shooting and poisoning to control the number of hares to protect the ecological environment. However, the adaptability and reproductive ability of hares are too strong. The grasslands and bushes that can be seen everywhere in Australia provide abundant food and habitat for hares. , So none of these methods can control the hare population. Later, scientists proposed to use biological viruses to deal with hares. This trick worked at first, but the hare quickly developed antibodies to the virus.

The hares are distributed all over the world. The reason why they have such a strong vitality is because they have unique skills in order to survive. Let us see some of them below.

The odd courtship tricks of eastern cottontail rabbits
Eastern cottontail rabbits are distributed throughout the Americas, especially in the Midwestern United States. They originally lived mainly in the eastern United States, and few people paid attention to them. In the 18th century, European colonists destroyed forests and farms in order to open up their territories. The eastern cottontail rabbits, which used grasslands as their habitat, migrated to the Midwestern United States with the colonists and competed with the native New England cottontail rabbits for habitat. Eastern cottontail rabbits eat alfalfa and other grasses, vegetables and fruits in spring and summer, and feed on bark, tree buds, twigs, maples and dogwoods in winter…

When the sun goes down and the crowd disperses, the eastern cottontail rabbits will leave the daytime hiding place and gather together for a rare ritual. The male will first judge whether the opponent is likely to accept himself by sniffing the breath of his favorite object in the air. If he feels that he might be accepted, the male rabbit runs to the female rabbit as fast as possible to express his desire to mate. If the male rabbit is not accepted by the female rabbit, but continues to rush towards the female rabbit, it is a risk that a male rabbit may be kicked or bitten by the female rabbit. In order to attract female rabbits, male rabbits will even pee a lot on female rabbits when they pass by, but this may make female rabbits more aggressive. If the female rabbit likes the male rabbit, when the male rabbit runs under the female rabbit’s body, the female rabbit will jump into the air, and the more he likes, the higher the jump.

After such a two-way choice full of ritual, both parties who passed the test were very satisfied with each other, which greatly improved the mating success rate. The mating period of eastern cottontail rabbits is from February to September each year, and male rabbits will mate with multiple female rabbits, which will increase the population rapidly. Their mating success rate is very high and the reproduction speed is very fast, which should be the main reason why it is difficult for people to control their numbers in various ways.

The flexible pace of the Antelope Rabbit
The Antelope Rabbit is one of the largest hares in North America, with a body length of 70 cm, a weight of 4.1 kg, and an average ear length of 16 cm. Antelope rabbits are solitary animals that only gather together during mating. They mainly feed on plant leaves, grasses and succulents (especially cacti). The desert where the Antelope Rabbit inhabits is hot and dry. Although the Antelope Rabbit does not have sweat glands that help dissipate heat like humans do, their ears are densely covered with blood vessels. When they run fast, the heat generated by muscle activity can be dissipated into the air through these blood vessels. At the same time, their long ears can receive sounds from 3 kilometers away, especially the high-pitched calls of eagles. The big eyes of the antelope rabbit can see predators coming from all directions. Antelope rabbits have highly reflective and thermally insulating fur, which can help them cope with the strong sunlight in the desert.

Antelope rabbits have a flexible pace, and their large, densely vascularized ears can help them dissipate heat.

The antelope rabbit may be the most running animal in the desert, with a maximum running speed of more than 72 kilometers per hour. Why does the Antelope Rabbit run so fast? This is because one of their natural enemies-Harris Hawk is an efficient and terrifying hunter. The Harris hawks gathered together will first send a “scout” to look for prey, and when it finds a suitable prey (such as the antelope rabbit), it will send a signal, and the other eagles will become hunting formations. While the “scout” is pursuing the prey, its companions are also pursuing the prey on the left and right sides. If the antelope rabbit sneaks into the hiding place, an eagle in the flock will drop to the ground and drive the antelope rabbit to an open place. At this time, any wrong turn of the Antelope Rabbit or a slower pace may kill itself. But the antelope rabbit, which is flexible and fast-running, can often get out of danger.

Swamp Bunny’s swimming skills
Marsh rabbits are distributed in the Gulf of Mexico and south-central regions of the United States. They are the largest rabbits in the genus Cottontail, weighing 1.6 to 2.7 kilograms, and having a body length of 45 to 55 cm. Male rabbits are generally slightly larger than female rabbits. The head and back of the marsh rabbit are often dark brown, rusty brown or black, the neck, abdomen and tail are white, and the eyes are surrounded by cinnamon rings. Marsh rabbits like to live in swamps, floodplains, and the edges of rivers and creeks. They often hide in watersides, bushes or cavities under tree stumps during the day. They come out to forage at dusk and feed on a variety of plants. , Shrubs, bark, reeds, etc. are their delicacy.

In the habitat of the swamp rabbit, all kinds of animals hide themselves and observe in the dark, and it is rare to see other animals except themselves. In this environment, it is not easy for predators to catch marsh rabbits. Even if a swamp rabbit is unfortunately discovered by a predator, as soon as the predator approaches, they will immediately run to the place with water and jump into the water like a deer. The huge body shape allows the swamp rabbits to have greater buoyancy in the water, and the developed muscles make them “swimmers”. Marsh rabbits often live in floodplains or swamps, so that they can not only avoid predators, but also find food and mates safely.

When the number of other rabbits in the local area decreases sharply due to various reasons, the swamp rabbit population can remain stable, because as long as there is a swamp or a clear waterway, they can find new habitats by swimming and increase their chances of survival.

The burrowing technique of Oryctolagus
Oryctolagus, distributed in southwestern Europe and northwestern Africa, is a social animal that feeds mainly on grass. Oryctolagus is famous for its reproductive ability, but their burrowing technique is even better. Oryctolagus lives in a stable social group centered on females, sharing one or more cave systems. Oryctolagus is active at dawn or dusk. When they eat on the ground, in order to avoid predators, they usually stay only about 25 meters away from the cave, and rarely 50 meters away from the cave. When not eating, the Oryctolagus stays in the hole most of the time.

The different acupoints are connected by tunnels

Oryctolagus can dig holes almost anywhere, such as fields, woods, sand dunes, swamps, and railway embankments, but most of the caves are dug on slopes and banks with good drainage. Although both male and female rabbits dig holes, female rabbits have better skills. Rabbit holes are mainly excavated by female rabbits during pregnancy to raise their babies. When a female rabbit digs a hole, first use the front feet to dig the soil between the hind legs, and then use the hind legs to kick the soil away. Most caves are dug from the outside in, but some caves in the swamp are dug from the inside out, leaving emergency exits to avoid underground predators. There are many holes in a rabbit hole, and the different holes are connected by tunnels.

Under different soils and different geographical environments, the depth of the rabbit hole is different. If the soil is soft and easy to dig, the cave may be deeper. The diameter of the hole is generally 10 to 15 cm, and the angle of the downward slope from the hole is small. In the open countryside, the caves are often deeper, possibly to avoid predators; while the caves covered by dense vegetation are closer to the surface. The amount of rainfall or whether the tunnel between the caves is close to the river and other factors will also affect the depth of the rabbit cave.

The Egyptians admire the hare because the hare is agile and sensitive. In ancient Egypt, the image of the goddess “Vinite” was a hare. In many ancient civilizations, the hare is a kind of “moon animal”. The ancients believed that the dark patches on the surface of the moon at the full moon represented a jumping hare. The hare is also known for its vigilance and its habit of sleeping with its eyes open. The rapid reproduction of hares makes them a symbol of fertility.

The smallest rabbit and the largest rabbit
Pygmy rabbits are distributed in the semi-dry shrubland of the Great Western Basin and adjacent mountains in the continental United States. They are the smallest rabbits in the world, weighing 375-500 grams, and having a body length of 23.5-29.5 cm. They can be easily placed in the palm of your hand. Dwarf rabbits mainly live in tall and dense clusters of Artemisia tridentatus. They mainly feed on Artemisia tridentatus. They also eat tender roots, tubers, bark, seeds and nuts of other plants.

Darius Rabbit is a giant rabbit bred by an Englishman. In 2010, it was certified as the largest rabbit in the world by Guinness World Records. Its body length is 1.22 meters and its weight is 22.5 kg. It eats a lot of fruits and vegetables every day. Food, long hair, farrowing and disease resistance. The life span of other species of rabbits is generally 8 years, while the life span of Darius rabbits exceeds 8 years.

The difference between a rabbit and a hare
Rabbits are domesticated from Oryctolagus. The hare is a collective term for the four species in the genus Lagopus and the genus Lagopus and Rock rabbit. The biggest difference between a domestic rabbit and a hare is: the domestic rabbit is born in a nest, the whole body is naked and hairless at birth, the eyes and ears are also not opened, and cannot leave the female rabbit to move alone within two weeks after birth; the hare is more flexible than the domestic rabbit. Bigger than a domestic rabbit, legs and ears are also longer than a domestic rabbit, and when a hare is born, it has its eyes wide open and its whole body is covered with fur. The baby hare can run about an hour after birth.