What Are Some of the Adaptations of the Arctic Hare?
One of the adaptations of the Arctic hare is that its fur turns white in the winter to help it blend in with its surroundings. Adaptations in the shape of the hare’s body help it navigate through snow and stay warm.
The coat’s change of color is controlled by the number of daylight hours, which affects the hare’s endocrine system. The color of the coat changes gradually, and female hares change color earlier than the males. During the summer, the fur returns to its gray or brownish color, which also blends in with the hare’s surroundings.
The Arctic hare also has unusually large feet. These large feet help the animal distribute the weight of its body over the soft snow, which keeps it from sinking.
The hare also has a large and compact body that keeps it from losing heat. Its relatively short ears also help the animal retain heat.
Arctic hares also avoid predators by being very fast runners and fairly good swimmers. They can hop away from danger while standing on their hind legs. The resulting tracks might confuse predators. Though Arctic hares are usually solitary, they can gather in large flocks. This allows some of the hares to rest while other hares stand guard.