Tuesday, 18 February 2014

arctic hares
 they are basically bunny pups!

The arctic hare, or polar rabbit, is a species of hare which is adapted largely to polar and mountainous habitats. The arctic hare survives with a thick coat of fur and usually digs holes in the ground or under snow to keep warm and sleep.
In the Canadian High Arctic, the Arctic hare thrives on islands that are little more than frozen deserts with only scattered patches of stunted vegetation.   Here the temperature may fall as low as -380C in the dark depths of winter, and the hare's limited food supply is often buried beneath wind-packed snow for 280 days of the year.
The hare can cope with these conditions because its winter coat provides excellent insulation.  In winter, the hairs are hollow and act rather like the air cavity in double-glazed windows.  The hollow hairs also appear white because they lack a solid, coloured core. 
Male hares are smaller than females with seasonal variation in weight. Northern hares are also heavier than southern hares.
The Arctic Hare is bright white in winter with black ear tips. During this time, they are very tame and easy to approach. But in the summer, they are very wary and difficult to approach. In the High Arctic, where summers are very short, a sandy brown or gray color may appear on the nose, ears, forehead, and sometimes the back. In the southern regions, the white coat will change to brown with bluish-gray tones, but the tail and parts of the ears and legs stay white. When the young are born, they are a mottled gray and brown.

For breeding to begin, the males have to find a female, which they do by smell. The males know if she is receptive by her scent and if she doesn't react with aggression. The male will usually move cautiously, approaching from a downwind area. The males will target any female that approaches the group. At the height of the breeding season, approaches become more common.
The arctic hare is distributed over the tundra regions of Greenland the northenmost parts of canada as well as alaska. In the far north the hare becomes white during the winter to blend in snow, similar to ptarmigan.


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