You are on page 1of 5

-:Arctic Hare:-

Introduction :
The Arctic hare or often called the polar rabbit or the scientific name
is Lepus arcticus. It is one of the few animals in the world that is able to
survive in such cold conditions of the Arctic. Arctic hare is a species
of hare which is highly adapted to living in the arctic tundra, and other icy
biomes. The Arctic hare survives with shortened limbs, a small nose, body
fat that makes up 20% of its body, and a thick coat of fur. It usually digs holes
in the ground or under snow to keep warm and sleep. Arctic hares look like
rabbits but have shorter ears, are taller when standing, and, unlike rabbits,
can thrive in extreme cold. They can travel together with many other hares,
sometimes huddling with dozens or more, but are usually found alone,
taking, in some cases, more than one partner.

Background :
The Arctic hare is a herbivore, specifically a folivore and class as a
Mammalia. The Arctic hare is included in Leporids family or the scientific
name is Leporidae. A Arctic hare can live for 5 years.

Characteristics :
The Arctic hare is one of the largest living lagomorphs. The Arctic
Hare has ears that are much taller than other species of Rabbits but they are
smaller overall to help them maintain body heat. On average, this species
measures from 43 to 70 cm (17 to 28 in) long, not counting a tail length of
4.510 cm (1.83.9 in). The body mass of this species is typically between
2.55.5 kg (612 lb), though large individuals can weigh up to 7 kg (15 lb).
Female hares can have up to eight baby hares called leverets. The
leverets stay within the mother's home range until they are old enough to
survive on their own. There is little information on the lifespan of Arctic hare.
Some anecdotal evidence suggests they live three to five years in the wild.
Arctic hare do not survive well in captivity, living only a year and a half at
For normal arctic hare, their weight is about 2.5 to 5.5kg (6-12 lbs), up
to 7kg (15.5lb), females tend to be larger than males and their length can be
48 to 68 cm long (19-28 inches), a short tail of 3-8cm (1-3 inches). During
the winter months they are completely white so that they can blend in with
the snow. Yet in the summer they can be gray or brown. These color changes
allow the Arctic Hare to be able to blend in well with their surroundings. This
allows them to sneak up on prey and to also stay hidden from predators.

Diet / Habitat :
Arctic hares feed primarily on woody plants, and willow constitutes 95
percent of their diet year-round. Arctic hares predominantly consume such
as saxifrage, crowberry, and dwarf willow, but can also eat a variety of other
foods, including lichens and mosses, blooms, other species' leaves, twigs
and roots, mountain sorrel and macroalgae (seaweed). During the winter,
they will dig through snow to find buried food. Arctic hare diets are more
diverse in summer, but still primarily consists of willow, dryas and grasses.
In other seasons they eat buds, berries, leaves, roots, and bark. Arctic hare
have been reported to occasionally eat meat, including fish and the stomach
contents of eviscerated caribou. They eat snow to get water.
The Arctic hare is distributed over the northernmost regions
of Greenland, the Canadian arctic islands and Northern Canada,
including Ellesmere Island, and further south
in Labrador and Newfoundland. The Arctic hare is well-adapted to the
conditions found in the tundras, plateaus and treeless coasts of this region,
including cold weather and frozen precipitation. The Arctic hare may be
found at elevations between 0 (sea level) and 900 m.

Adaptations :
There is some adaptations of Arctic hare, it is relatively low surface area
to volume ratio, like many cold climate animals, compared to their warmer
climate cousins, arctic hares have proportionally shorter limbs, ears and a
stockier build. They have less surface area for their volume to lose heat from
and when they searching for foods they will use sense of smell to help the
arctic hares to find food beneath the the snow, knowing where to dig.
Beside, Arctic hare also has Thick camouflaged seasonal fur and it
mean the coat of the arctic hare is always thick and highly insulating. Those
hares in the southern parts of their distribution grow two distinctly different
coats over the course of a year, predominantly white in the winter and blue-
grey in the summer months so they can blend into the landscape more easily
all year round. Those hares that live in the more northern parts of their range
retain their white coat all year round though their summer coat is shorter than
their winter coat.
Arctic hare has paws heavily padded with fur and it can make arctic
hare to spread their weight while walking on soft snow, to insulate them from
snow and ice and also provide for grip on slippery surfaces. The animal also
have some behavior which can make them survive until now, they can make
a Shelter in burrows when they dig into the ground or under the snow during
very cold weather. The function of the shelter is to avoiding the worst of the
weather by tunneling beneath the snow to avoid the biting wind and gain
extra insulation from the snow. The temperature in the snow hole is still
below freezing, it can be much higher than outside the snow hole and is of
course out of the fur-ruffling wind.
Majority of animals live in group when they at a hard time so they can
survive and also for arctic hare, they living in groups in the coldest weather
means that arctic hares can huddle for warmth, it also helps them to spot
predators sneaking up on them and to evade predators by confusing them
as to which hare to chase so wearing them out and making a kill less likely.
This is known as "flocking", groups may form of dozens of individuals or up
to 3,000 or more. When on the move a flock moves and changes direction
at the same time. They disperse again in the spring when the breeding
season starts.
Jaw Dropping Facts :
The Arctic hare same as rabbit but it can run faster than the normal
rabbit. The Arctic hare can run up to 60 kilometers per hour (40 mph). They
are well suited to their cold environment, with smaller ears than most other
rabbits so that they dont lose too much heat, thick fur to keep out the cold
and large padded paws to help them walk on snow. Arctic hares that live in
warmer areas replace their thick white winter coat with a short grey-brown
coat in summer.
Arctic hare known as herbivore, so they will be targeted as a prey by
predators. Known predators of the Arctic hare are the Arctic fox, red fox, gray
wolf, gyrfalcon, rough-legged hawk and humans. For animals, they hunt
arctic hare because this animal easy to catch and cant defense themselves.
But for humans, they hunt them and then they will take the skin.
The Arctic wolf is probably the most successful predator of the Arctic
hare, and even young wolves in their first autumn can catch adult hares.
Arctic foxes and ermines, which are smaller, typically prey on young hares.
Gyrfalcon carry hares to their nests, cutting them in half first; gyrfalcons use
hare bones and feet in the structure of their nests on Ellesmere
Island, Nunavut, Peregrine falcons also prey on Arctic hares in the southern
end of the hares' range.[5] The Snowy owls mainly targets young hare.
But among of predators which is eat this artic hare, there are also
predators kill the arctic hare slow by slow inside or outside this animal. The
predator is parasites. There are four groups of parasites have been known
to use Arctic hares as a host : protozoans, nematodes, lice and fleas. Fleas
are more common than parasitic worms.
Impact Of Cross Breeding or
Extinction Info:
Arctic hares are sometimes loners but they can also be found in groups
of dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of individuals. Unlike many
mammals, arctic hare groups disperse rather than form during mating
season. Animals pair off and define mating territories, though a male may
take more than one female partner

Females give birth to one litter per year, in spring or early summer and
the female will give birth to a litter usually in June or early July. Two to eight
young hares grow quickly and by September resemble their parents. They
will be ready to breed the following year. Male hares called "bucks," mate
with a female hare or "doe," during the spring. After she mates, a doe carries
her litter for about fifty days before she gives birth. She may have up to nine
"leverets," or young arctic hares, at once. The leverets stay within the
mother's home range until they are old enough to survive on their own. The
babies weigh 2 to 4 ounces at birth. The babies are born with their eyes wide
open and they are born fully haired and advanced to hop about a few minutes
after birth. Each soon develops their own form and is visited by the doe to be