This order includes rabbits and hares (Leploridae) and pikas (Ochotonidae). Rabbits and hares have tails that are very short and hind feet that are at least somewhat larger than the forefeet, the external ears are very long. Pikas are smaller than most leplorids, the hind feet are only slightly larger than the forefeet the ears are relatively short and rounder, and the tail is absent externally. Lagomorph means literally "hare-shaped". Lagomorphs are terrestrial mammals although some species burrow and may be considered semifossorial. Members of the living families have tails that are very short, and hind feet that are at least somewhat larger than the forefeet. Lagomorphs are almost totally herbivorous and feed on a wide variety of forbs, grasses, and to some extent, shrubs. Reingestion of feces is know to occur in most species and enables them to assimilate more plant nutrients and certain B vitamins that are produced by bacteria in the caecum. The social structure in lagomorphs ranges from a dispersed system in may hares to that of dominance hierarchies in the European rabbit. Pikas may establish territories based o;n the defense of accumulated hay piles, although these territories are not generally defended during the reproductive season. Lagomorphs are native to the Holarctic, Ethiopian (except Madagascar), northern Neotropical and northern and western Oriental regions.

Family Leporidae





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