Hare

Hare

[hair]
Hare, David, 1947-, British playwright. Hare is a prominent member of the British theatrical left. A founder of the Portable Theatre and the Joint Stock, he became resident dramatist and literary manager of the Royal Court Theatre, London (1967-71), and at the Nottingham Playhouse (1973). His plays are personal dramas, often presented in a historical context. Among the best of his early works is Teeth 'n' Smiles (1975), a satirical commentary on the state of modern British society. He achieved wide critical and popular acclaim with Plenty (1978), a dramatic tour-de-force for its female star, which deals with disillusionment in post-World War II Britain. His most successful play was Pravda (1985), which he wrote with his frequent collaborator Howard Brenton. The 1998-99 Broadway season marked a peak in Hare's success, featuring productions of The Judas Kiss, The Blue Room, and Amy's View, as well as a one-man play, Via Dolorosa, performed by Hare. The Breath of Life (2002) is a caustic study of two women in late middle age abandoned by the same man, roles originated in London by Dames Judi Dench and Maggie Smith. Stuff Happens (2004) is a bitingly topical examination of the Iraq war, repeatedly updated, with actors playing George W. Bush, Tony Blair, Colin Powell, and other real-life characters. The Iraq war is also central to The Vertical Hour (2006), the first of Hare's plays to debut on Broadway.

See his Acting Up (1999).

Hare, Sir John, 1844-1921, English actor-manager, whose original name was John Fairs. From 1856 to 1874 he was a prominent actor with the Bancrofts' company in the plays of Tom Robertson. He managed (1875-79) the Court Theatre and later with the Kendals co-managed (1879-88) the St. James Theatre. In 1889 he became manager of the Garrick Theatre, built for him by W. S. Gilbert. He was knighted in 1907.
Hare, Robert, 1781-1858, American chemist, b. Philadelphia. He was professor of chemistry (1819-47) at the medical college of the Univ. of Pennsylvania. Hare made important contributions to early American chemistry. Among his inventions were the oxyhydrogen blowpipe, an electric furnace, and a deflagrator, and his research included work on salts.

See biography by E. F. Smith (1917).

hare, name for certain herbivorous mammals of the family Leporidae, which also includes the rabbit and pika. The name is applied especially to species of the genus Lepus, sometimes called the true hares. Hares generally have longer ears and hind legs than rabbits and move by jumping rather than by running. Unlike rabbits, hares are born covered with fur and with their eyes open. Hares are native to Eurasia, Africa, and North and Central America; they have been introduced into Australia in recent times. They range in weight from 3 to 13 lb (1.4-5.9 kg) and from 13 to 25 in. (33-63 cm) in length. They are usually brown or grayish in color, but northern species acquire a white coat in winter. Hares live in meadows, brushy country, and woodland clearings; they are largely nocturnal although they may forage in the day if undisturbed. Members of most species rest in shallow hollows, called forms, that they make in vegetation; they have regular trails from these forms to their feeding spots. Females make nests of their own fur for receiving the young. Hares feed on grasses, leaves, and bark. Like rabbits, they reingest their own droppings so that food passes twice through the digestive system. Most North American hares are very large, with extremely long ears, and are called jackrabbits. Other North American species are the varying hare (or snowshoe rabbit), Lepus americanus, which ranges over the northern half of the continent; the Arctic hare, L. arcticus, found on the coasts and islands of the Arctic Ocean; and the Alaska, or tundra, hare, L. othus, found in N and W Alaska. The large brown hare, L. europaeus, is native to Europe, where it is valued as game. Introduced as a game animal in the NE United States, it has become an agricultural pest. The so-called Belgian hare is actually a domestic rabbit.Hares are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Lagomorpha, family Leporidae.

American pika (Ochotona princeps).

Any of numerous round-eared, tailless members (genus Ochotona, family Ochotonidae) of the rabbit order (Lagomorpha), found in Asia, eastern Europe, and parts of western North America. Though not hares, they are sometimes called mouse hares. The hind legs are less developed than a rabbit's; pikas scamper rather than bound. Their brownish or reddish fur is soft, long, and thick. Most pikas weigh between 4.5 and 7.1 oz. (125 and 200 g) and are about 6 in. (15 cm) long. Many species live in rocky, mountainous areas, but some Asian species inhabit burrows. Pikas do not hibernate, but in summer and autumn they “harvest” vegetation and store it in protected places (e.g., under rocks) to be eaten in winter.

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Black-tailed jackrabbit (Lepus californicus)

Bounding mammal (in the family Leporidae) whose young, unlike those of rabbits, are born fully haired, with open eyes, and sufficiently advanced to hop about a few minutes after birth. The common hare (Lepus europaeus) is native to central and southern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa; introduced into Australia, it has become a pest there. In North America the jackrabbit and snowshoe hare are widespread. Many other species occur naturally on all principal landmasses except Australia. Hares have well-developed hind legs, and the ears are usually longer than the head. Species vary in length from 16 to 28 in. (40–70 cm), without the short tail. Hares in northern latitudes are white in winter and grayish brown in summer; elsewhere, they are usually grayish brown year-round. Hares are primarily herbivorous.

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Hares and jackrabbits are leporids belonging to the genus Lepus. (Four other species of leporid in the genera Caprolagus and Pronolagus are also called "hares".) Very young hares, less than one year old, are called leverets.

Hares are very fast-moving. The European Brown Hare (Lepus europaeus) can run at speeds of up to 72 km/h (45 mph). They live solitarily or in pairs, while "a drove of hares" is the collective noun for a group of hares.

A common type of hare in Arctic North America is the Snowshoe Hare, replaced further south by the Black-tailed Jackrabbit, White-tailed Jackrabbit and other species.

Normally a shy animal, the European Brown Hare changes its behaviour in spring, when hares can be seen in broad daylight chasing one another around meadows; this appears to be competition between males to attain dominance (and hence more access to breeding females). During this spring frenzy, hares can be seen "boxing"; one hare striking another with its paws (probably the origin of the term "mad as a March hare"). For a long time it had been thought that this was inter-male competition, but closer observation has revealed that it is usually a female hitting a male, either to show that she is not yet quite ready to mate, or as a test of his determination.

Differences from rabbits

Hares do not bear their young below ground in a burrow as do other leporids, but rather in a shallow depression or flattened nest of grass called a form. Hares are adapted to the lack of physical protection, relative to that afforded by a burrow, by being born fully furred and with eyes open. They are hence able to fend for themselves very quickly after birth — that is to say, they are precocial. By contrast, the related rabbits and cottontail rabbits are altricial, having young that are born blind and hairless.

All rabbits (except the cottontail rabbits) live underground in burrows or warrens, while hares (and cottontail rabbits) live in simple nests above the ground, and usually do not live in groups. Hares are generally larger than rabbits, with longer ears, and have black markings on their fur. Hares have not been domesticated, while rabbits are often kept as house pets. There is a domestic pet known as the "Belgian Hare" but this is a rabbit that has been selectively bred to resemble a hare.

The hare's diet is very similar to the rabbit's.

Classification

Folklore and mythology

The hare in African folk tales is a trickster; some of the stories about the hare were retold among African slaves in America, and are the basis of the Brer Rabbit stories. The hare appears in English folklore in the saying "as mad as a March hare". In Irish folklore the hare is often seen as an evil creature, principally associated with witches.

Many cultures, including the Indian and Japanese, see a hare in the pattern of dark patches in the moon (see Man in the Moon). The constellation Lepus represents a hare.

According to Jewish tradition, the hare is among many of the mammals deemed not Kosher.

One of Aesop's fables tells the story of The Tortoise and the Hare.

Famous hares

Three hares

Recent (2004) research has followed the history and migration of a symbolic image of three hares with conjoined ears. In this image, three hares are seen chasing each other in a circle with their heads near its centre. While each of the animals appears to have two ears, only three ears are depicted. The ears form a triangle at the centre of the circle and each is shared by two of the hares. The image has been traced from Christian churches in the English county of Devon right back along the Silk Road to China, via Western and Eastern Europe and the Middle East. It is possible that even before its appearance in China it was actually first depicted in the Middle East before being re-imported centuries later. Its use has been found associated with Christian, Jewish, Islamic and Buddhist sites stretching back to about 600 CE.

Placenames

The hare has given rise to local placenames, as they can often be repeatedly observed over many years in favoured localities. An example in Scotland is 'Murchland', the Scots for a hare being 'Murchen'.

References

External links

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