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The Arctic Hare

Inspiration / Wildlife / The Arctic Hare

The white bunny with sunglasses and snowshoes. An arctic hare is beautiful with its white, fluffy winterfur to keep it warm in the cold arctic weather.

The Arctic hare is born with black eyelashes that protect their eyes from the bright light of the sun. They actually act a bit like sunglasses. Also, they have large feet on the hind legs, which work in the same way as snowshoes. The Arctic hare does not sink into the snow as it moves around in Greenland’s snow-filled landscapes.

The Arctic hare is easy to recognize

The Arctic hares have a very recognizable look. In the winter months, they have a beautiful, white coat, while in the summer they have a more gray-brown coat. This helps them hide, so they don’t become too visible to potential predators. You can also recognize them on their up-right standing ears with black tips and big eyes.

The scientific name of the Arctic hare is Lepus Arcticus, and their Greenlandic name is Ukaleq. They are most active in the morning and the evening, and they are not particularly shy. Therefore, you have ample opportunity to see them without them rushing off at high speed. They can reach speeds of up to 64 kilometers per hour, which is comparable to the speed of a car. With their strong hind legs, they can leap two meters into the air, which means they could jump over the heads of many people if they chose to.

How big is an Arctic hare?

When most of us think of rabbits or hares, we probably imagine small bouncing fur lumps. Who doesn’t think that is super sweet? In reality, the Arctic hare is quite large and incredibly fast. They can be between 40 and 60 centimeters in length and usually weigh between 2 and 6 kilos.

A funny detail about the Arctic hare is that it has a smaller head with shorter ears than its relatives. However, they have longer hind legs, and the feet have extra fur so that it can walk more easily on the surface of the deep snow. This gives them a more compact look and makes them better adapted to living in the Arctic climate.

What does an Arctic hare eat?

The Arctic hare is primarily a herbivore. Their diet consists of many different things. They eat berries, buds from plants, leaves, or very young trees, whose stems and roots, among other things.

Fun fact: The Arctic hare eats snow to get fluids if it is in a situation where it is required.

The interesting behavior of the Arctic hare

In the winter months, you can often see the Arctic hare in large flocks or groups. However, usually, they want their own space and mobility. The flocks can be huge and have been seen in a group of almost 3,000 individuals, but the norm is closer to flocks of about 100 individuals.

When it snows a lot, they often let themselves be buried by the snow as this helps to protect them from the cold.