See his Acting Up (1999).
See biography by E. F. Smith (1917).
American pika (Ochotona princeps).
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Black-tailed jackrabbit (Lepus californicus)
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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.
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.
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.
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.
One of Aesop's fables tells the story of The Tortoise and the Hare.