Cape Hare - Lepus capensis
The Cape hare, scientifically named Lepus capensis (Lagomorpha - Leporidae), is a typical hare in appearance, with long, slender limbs, large hind feet, a short tail, large eyes and large ears.
The backs of the ears have white outer edges and black tips, and may be ‘flashed’ when the hare is being pursued, possibly to confuse predators.
The Cape hare is well adapted to living in arid and desert environments, with a low metabolic rate, concentrated urine (to minimize water loss), and the ability to drink more saline water than other hares. Those huge ears are in fact a thermoregulatory mechanism to radiate heat and then cool themselves.
This hare has a very wide distribution, being found across most non-forested regions of Africa, through the Arabian Peninsula and Middle East.
Other common names: Desert Hare, Arabian Hare, Brown Hare.
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Photo credit: ©Drew Gardner | Locality: Taweelah, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (2006)