Wednesday, October 04, 2006

What is the difference between a rabbit and a hare?

Who's asking: Kaethe Schulz, Bavaria

If you have a pet bunny -- as Kaethe does -- it's a rabbit, not a hare. All pet breeds of rabbit are varieties of one species, the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus).

Hares and rabbits are both members of the genus Lepus. Hares are larger and faster than rabbits, and usually have black markings on their fur. They live alone or in pairs, unlike rabbits, who live in groups. Hares live in nests above the ground, rather than in burrows, and the babies are born with fur, unlike baby rabbits, who are born hairless and blind. Hares generally have longer ears and larger feet than rabbits. Species called “jackrabbit” are hares, not rabbits.

In folklore, hares are generally tricksters, while rabbits tend to be victims. Hunters say that hare has a much stronger, gamier flavor than rabbit (which actually does taste like a milder version of chicken).

Not that I'm suggesting your pet bunny is a source of food, but Michael Moore did make a documentary about a Michigan rabbit-keeper called Pets or Meat. In event of catastrophic disaster, it might be handy to have a rabbit around.

Bad news on the laptop: it would cost as much to fix it as to replace it. I hate that, I hate that something that cost more than $1,000 is ultimately disposable -- but at least they can pull my hard drive, so I'll just switch it over, and pick up the new machine later today. Sigh.

First five songs off the iPod Shuffle this morning:

"Dead or Alive," Van Morrison, Lonnie Donegan & Chris Barber. Most of Van Morrison's best work in the past couple of decades has been collaborations with other artists; this album (The Skiffle Sessions) is terrific beginning to end.

"All You Need is Love," The Beatles. In one episode of "The Simpsons," Bart and Milhouse discover Flanders' secret stash of Beatles memorabilia; "Oh yeah," Bart says. "Those are the guys on Maggie's baby records." A kid could do worse than to grow up on Beatles tunes.

"Sodomy," from the Hair soundtrack. What was I saying yesterday about the hippie culture? Never mind, I love this soundtrack.

"I'm in the Mood for Love," Bryan Ferry. From his collection of 1930s standards, As Time Goes By.

"I'm Not Sleeping," Counting Crows. The rising guitars on this song are a little loud for me so early in the morning.


Anonymous said...

Kaethe & Skippy say "thanks" for the info. Does the kind of rabbit with floppy ears have a special name? ...and speaking of food: I was ready to heat up the oven today, when I caught Skippy chewing through the telephone cable!
Bon appetit

AnswerGirl said...

Strangely enough, they are called "lop-eared" rabbits!

skippy said...

hi answergirl.

too bad i didn't know about your blog a week before now.

mrs. skippy and i are on a self-guided tour of new england, and just went thru maine three to six days ago, with stops in freeport and bar harbor.

would have stopped by your place and asked you a question if i knew you were there.

skippy said...

ps i am not skippy the rabbit, i am skippy the bush kangaroo, semi-famous political blogger.