|Common Nicknames||Rabbit, Hopper|
Hares are a common species of mammal native to many regions of Aloria and beyond. They are also closely related to the similarly populous Rabbit, who are less widely spread given that species keep to temperate regions. The two, while related, are very different, with Hares marked by their larger bodies and much longer ears. They are generally seen as tricksters in Qadir and Songaskian society, but in the wilder world they are commonly just seen as good and easy targets for beginning hunters.
Hares have long inhabited Aloria alongside their close cousins, Rabbits, and some believe that as recently as 2500 years ago, they were the same species. Others suspect that even the Altalar were long convinced that Rabbits and Hares were the same species and only learned the truth during their high era of The Consolidation. Regardless, to track the history of the Hare would be almost impossible as they have existed across Aloria in multiple regions for centuries. However, it is generally accepted that they moved from temperate regions of the world outward, carried by ships or ancient land bridges now long destroyed into more humid or chilly climates. Unlike Rabbits, Hares cannot and have never been domesticated, exclusively making them objects of the hunt by Ailor and various other Races over the centuries. However thanks to its spread, the animal is highly unlikely to go extinct anytime soon.
Hares are small creatures, with a height ranging from a foot to one and a half feet, and a weight of barely a few pounds. They have small, ovular heads with small mouths, a large nose, two eyes on either side of their head and a pair of long and soft, rounded-off, ovular ears sitting on the top of their head. Their head connects to the body on a spray neck, the body itself fairly round. They stand on a pair of slender front feet and then a set of larger and more muscled rear feet. These rear feet are uniquely built, and allow the Hare to do their characteristic hopping around as well as gain extreme bursts of speed at a moment’s notice. Their body then ends in a short tail, with the hair found there usually coming to a slight point. The rest of their body is similarly covered in a layer of hair of varying colors.
Hares are highly diverse animals. In its spread across Aloria, a wide variety of subspecies have emerged on the various continents to suit a variety of different needs. In general, the population numbers between the sexes are equal and the species lacks any obvious sexual dimorphism. Below can be found a listing of the various subspecies of Hare in Aloria.
- Wild/Common Hare: The Wild or Common Hare is the most populous species of Hare in Aloria, dominating Corontium, Daen, Essalonia and Oldt Era with minor spread to several other regions. They are typically shades of brown, but it isn’t uncommon for some Common Hares to have entirely black coats, and they are capable of possessing a range of eye colors.
- North/White Hare: The White or North Hare as this subspecies is known is native to The North Belt and some northern areas of the Regalian Archipelago. It is notable for possessing shorter ears than most other Hares and for having a largely white coat of hair in the fall and winter, only marred by tinges of black at the fringes of its ears, the center of its face down to its nose, and the bottom of its hind legs. Their summer and spring coat is generally grey in its coloration.
- Hadrav/Desert Hare: The Hadrav Hare, though also known as the Desert Hare, is a subspecies most commonly found in northern Farah’deen and southern Essalonia. It is characterized by its large size, large ears, and for possessing a tan or beige coat of hair along its body. This coat is accentuated with a pure white underbelly and a series of inherited streaks of dark brown and black along the sides of the animal that come from the individual’s mother.
- Sihai Hare: The Sihai Hare is a strange subspecies of Hare native to distant Zhong. It supposedly has a medium-sized body and a fairly thick layer of dull, yellow-tinged hair along its body. The animal’s most unique feature is that it can supposedly jump six feet straight in the air, but only during the full moon, and possesses yellow-tipped ears that glow during said full moon. They are said to be very rare, with their existence tied into the activity of the Loong Dragons.
Life Span and Development
Unlike Rabbits, Hares are born on the surface in a nest of grasses known as a form. Additionally, their litters are far smaller (made up of only one to five members) and the leverets born possess sight, and have hair on their bodies. As a result, within a few weeks, they are already capable of fully fending for themselves and lack a real need to remain with their mother. Still, most do for at least two months after their birth but they rapidly move out into the world to live their generally solitary lives. They live for up to five years.
Hares are highly solitary, and as such generally avoided observation by outsiders. However, in general, they would appear to mimic Rabbits in many of their activities, eating vegetation native to their respective regions and occasionally the insects who are trapped in them. Their only response, when faced by predators, is to flee, which is highly effective given their powerful hind legs and their bodies being built to sprint. Aside from this skill, and the general caring that a mother Hare shows toward her offspring, the species is simple in its actions and motions on a daily basis.
Territory and Groupings
Unlike Rabbits, Hares are naturally solitary creatures who do not form colonies or nests like their cousins. Instead, Hares only group together when mating is desired and even then, it is generally a male and female finding each other to complete the act.
- A unique depiction of Hares is a circle of three of the creatures connected by the ears and sitting within a circle. The symbol is likely pagan in origin, though it is now a minor feature of some Unionist temples in Heartland Ceardian land.
- Hares as tricksters go back to the time of Qadir polytheism when they were a common form or image representative of such aspects. This has continued into modern Songaskian imagery and storytelling.