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How do rabbits and hares live?

The cottontail rabbit lives in the Americas. Its close relative, the European rabbit, is found in Europe and North Africa. It was...Read More >>The cottontail rabbit lives in the Americas. Its close relative, the European rabbit, is found in Europe and North Africa. It was introduced to Australia in the 18th century, and rapidly grew in numbers. The rabbits have caused much damage to farmland and native wildlife.Rabbits and hares are similar to rodents. They have soft, furry bodies. They have four pairs of front teeth, one pair behind the other. Like those of rodents, they grow throughout their lives. This means they must keep chewing to prevent them from growing too long. Rabbits and hares feed mainly on grasses, and also eat leaves, bark, seeds and roots. Rabbits dig burrows below ground. They sleep, give birth and hide from predators there.



Escaping danger

European hare in full flightRabbits and hares have large ears to listen out for danger. They also have eyes on the sides of their heads. This allows them to see a wide area around them. If threatened, rabbits run or hop for their burrows, zigzagging across the ground. Hares escape from predators by running on their long, strong legs at high speed.

If threatened, a rabbit may freeze, then warn other rabbits nearby by thumping on the ground.

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