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Rabbit vs. Hare: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Published on December 6, 2023
Rabbits are small mammals with short ears and legs, living in burrows, while hares are larger, have longer ears and legs, and are born fully developed.

Key Differences

Rabbits are small mammals with fluffy tails, known for living in underground burrows. On the other hand, hares are larger relatives of rabbits, characterized by longer ears and legs, and tend not to live in burrows but in simple nests above the ground.
Rabbits are more social animals, often found in groups, and are generally smaller than hares. While, hares are typically solitary and more adapted to open environments, utilizing their longer limbs for speed and agility.
Baby rabbits, called kits, are born blind and hairless, requiring significant parental care. In contrast, hare young, known as leverets, are born with fur and can see, becoming independent more quickly.
In terms of behavior, rabbits tend to freeze when threatened and rely on their burrows for safety. However, hares rely on their speed and are more likely to flee from predators.
Rabbits have a wider domestication history and are commonly kept as pets. Meanwhile, hares remain mostly wild and are less commonly domesticated.

Comparison Chart

Physical Size


Ears and Legs

Shorter ears and legs
Longer ears and legs


Live in burrows
Live in nests above ground


Born blind and hairless
Born fully developed with fur

Social Behavior

More social, live in groups
Mostly solitary

Rabbit and Hare Definitions


Known for their reproductive speed and being prey animals.
Rabbits are often used as symbols of fertility.


A larger relative of the rabbit with longer ears and legs.
The hare sprinted across the open field with ease.


A small mammal known for living in burrows.
The garden was home to a family of rabbits.


Typically solitary animals, living in simple nests above ground.
The hare was spotted nesting in the grassy meadow.


Domesticated for pets, meat, and fur.
She raised rabbits for their soft fur.


Known for their speed and agility to escape predators.
The hare used its speed to outrun the chasing fox.


Characterized by long ears, short tails, and hopping movement.
The rabbit hopped across the field to escape the predator.


Less commonly domesticated and primarily found in the wild.
The wild hare is a common sight in rural countryside.


Wild rabbits are found in various habitats around the world.
Wild rabbits adapted well to the forested area.


Leverets are born fully developed, with open eyes and fur.
The newly born leverets were already exploring their surroundings.


Any of various long-eared, short-tailed, burrowing mammals of the family Leporidae, such as the commonly domesticated species Oryctolagus cuniculus, native to Europe and widely introduced elsewhere, or the cottontail of the Americas.


Any of various mammals of the family Leporidae, especially of the genus Lepus, similar to rabbits but having longer ears and legs and giving birth to active, furred young.


A hare.


To move hurriedly, as if hunting a swift quarry.


Any of several plant-eating animals of the family Leporidae, especially of the genus Lepus, similar to a rabbit, but larger and with longer ears.


Can rabbits and hares interbreed?

No, they are different species with distinct characteristics.

What sets hares apart from rabbits in terms of diet?

Hares have a similar diet but are more adapted to foraging in open environments.

What is a rabbit?

A small mammal known for its burrowing habits and short ears.

What is a hare?

A larger, faster relative of the rabbit, living mostly in the wild.

What are the main predators of hares?

Common predators include foxes, eagles, and coyotes.

What do rabbits typically eat?

They eat a variety of vegetation, including grass, leaves, and vegetables.

How do rabbits communicate?

Rabbits communicate through a variety of sounds and body movements.

How fast can hares run?

Hares can reach speeds up to 45 miles per hour.

Are rabbits social animals?

Yes, they often live in groups and are quite social.

Do hares live in groups?

No, hares are typically solitary animals.

How do rabbits reproduce?

Rabbits are known for their fast reproductive rate, with multiple litters per year.

What is the lifespan of a rabbit?

Domestic rabbits can live up to 10 years, while wild ones have shorter lifespans.

Are rabbits active at night?

Yes, rabbits are generally crepuscular, active during twilight hours.

Can hares be domesticated?

Hares are less commonly domesticated and are generally wild animals.

How do rabbits escape predators?

They rely on their burrows and quick movements to evade predators.

What is the main defense mechanism of a hare?

Hares primarily use their speed and agility to escape predators.

Where are rabbits commonly found?

They are found in diverse habitats, including forests, grasslands, and deserts.

What kind of habitat do hares prefer?

Hares are adapted to open fields and grasslands.

Do hares change color with seasons?

Some species, like the snowshoe hare, change color for camouflage.

Are rabbits and hares considered pests?

In some regions, due to their feeding habits, they can be considered agricultural pests.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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