Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals

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  Lagomorpha · Leporidae · Lepus othus

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Lepus othus



Alaskan Hare



Order: Lagomorpha
Family: Leporidae

Image of Lepus othus
Click to enlarge. (76 kb)

Conservation Status: Least Concern.


Female Alaskan Hares nurse their young for an extended period, providing them with enough nutrition to grow extraordinarily quickly during the short Alaskan summer. There are an average of six furry little hares in a litter, and females usually bear just one litter per year. Alaskan Hares are among the largest hares. Their fur in winter is completely white except for black markings on the tips of the ears, and they molt to a darker summer coat that provides camouflage when the snow melts. They live in alder thickets and seem to ignore rain or snow instead of seeking shelter. Even very young hares in nests are regularly exposed to cold and rain.

Also known as:
Alaska Tundra Hare, St. Michael's Hare, Swift Hare, Alaska Arctic Hare, Tundra Hare, Alaska Peninsula Hare, Ukalisukruk, Ugalishugruk, Ushkanuk, Okhotsk, Oo-skon

Length:
Average: 597 mm
Range: 565-690 mm

Weight:
Average: 4,800 g
Range: 3,900-7,200 g

References:

Merriam, C.H., 1900.  Papers from the Harriman Alaska Expedition. I. Descriptions of twenty-six new mammals from Alaska and British North America, p. 28.  Proceedings of the Washington Academy of Sciences, 2:13-30.

Links:

Mammal Species of the World (opens in a new window).

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account *
* PDF reader available here (opens in a new window).

Distribution of Lepus othus