(Last Updated On: April 15, 2021)

The Arctic hare is a species of a hare that’s tailored to icy biomes, notably the Arctic tundra with its beautiful body, prompt movement, and unique adaptations. In this article, I am going to describe Arctic hare adaptations and survival factors.

Arctic Hare Adaptations and Survival Factors

It survives the tough local weather due to its shortened limbs and ears, tiny nostril, a thick coat, a physique that’s 20% fats, and it’s capacity to dig holes beneath the snow to flee the chilly wind.

The Arctic hare resembles the rabbit however has shorter ears, can stand upright, and thrives in icy habitats.

They’re loners however can journey in a grove to maintain look ahead to predators and huddle collectively to remain heat, which is one of the factors for Arctic hare adaptations.

The hare inhabits northern Greenland and northern Canada. It’s listed as of least concern as a result of it thrives within the chilly atmosphere of the Arctic. The next are among the variations of the Arctic hare.


Meals are scarce within the arctic, however, the hare survives all year long by feeding on a food plan that consists of woody vegetation, lichens, grasses, and mosses throughout the winter, and leaves, roots, berries, buds, and bark in the summer.

Comparatively low floor space to quantity ratio (anatomical) – Like many chilly local weather animals, in comparison with their hotter local weather cousins, arctic hares have proportionally shorter limbs, ears, and a stockier construct. They’ve much less floor space for his or her quantity to lose warmth from.

Thick camouflaged seasonal fur (anatomical) – The coat of the arctic hare is at all times thick and extremely insulating.

These hares within the southern components of their distribution develop two distinctly totally different coats over the course of a year, predominantly white within the winter and blue-grey in the summertime months to allow them to mix into the panorama extra simply all yr spherical.

These hares that stay within the extra northern components of their vary retain their white coat all yr spherical although their summer season coat is shorter than their winter coat, which is one of the factors for Arctic hare adaptations.

Paws closely padded with fur (anatomical) – to unfold their weight whereas strolling on mushy snow, to insulate them from snow and ice and in addition present for grip on slippery surfaces.

The claws on the entrance toes of the Arctic hare are lengthy. The robust claws are used for digging in hard-packed snow. Their toes are thickly padded with fur

The Arctic hare’s coat grows longer and thicker for the winter. They have got a brief thick undercoat protected by an extended prime coat.

The white fur makes the hare tough to identify within the snow. It has small ears that lose much less physique warmth than bigger ears.

To maintain heat and preserve power, a hare will tuck in its tail, paws, and ears and sit nonetheless for hours.

Hares will type giant teams. Whereas some relaxation and feed the others act as guards. They collect collectively within the snow, underneath bushes or behind rocks. In addition, they dig tunnels (dens) within the snow.

When alarmed they stand up on their hind legs to search for hazard after which sure off in a short time. Hopping up on their hind legs like a kangaroo, they will attain speeds of 64 km. per hour. The hare can swim throughout slim streams.

Low Floor Space

Though arctic hares are bigger than rabbits, they have low floor space to quantity ratio in comparison with their family within the hotter climates.

Their stockier our bodies retain fats and forestall warmth from escaping. About 20% of their body consists of fats, which is one of the factors for Arctic hare adaptations.

Velocity and Camouflage

Arctic hares can clock speeds of as much as 40 miles an hour due to the taller hind legs that make the animals barely bigger than rabbits.

The tall, muscular hind legs permit the hare to leap additional in deep snow and stand upright.

Throughout winter, the coats are snow white and supply glorious camouflage, however in the direction of spring, the color adjustments to blue-gray to match vegetation and native rocks.


Arctic hares have principally discovered alone however can typically be present in teams of as much as 100 members, which is one of the factors for Arctic hare adaptations.

Not like mammals and different animals, arctic hares disperse quite than converge throughout the mating season.

Men and women pair up and set up mating territories although males can mate with a couple of companions.

This follow lowers the possibilities of being detected by predators contemplating that the method is distractive.

Females give delivery to at least one litter of between 2 to eight younger ones that mature very quickly.

Shelter in burrows they dig into the bottom or underneath the snow throughout very chilly climate (behavioral) – A comparatively fast and simple means of avoiding the worst of the climate by tunneling beneath the snow to keep away from the biting wind and acquire additional insulation from the snow.

Whereas the temperature within the snow gap continues to be beneath freezing, it may be a lot increased than outdoors and is after all out of the fur-ruffling wind.

Usually, stay in teams within the winter months (behavioral) – Residing in teams within the coldest climate signifies that arctic hares can huddle for heat, it additionally helps them to identify predators sneaking upon them and to evade predators by complicated them as to which hare to chase so sporting them out and making a kill much less probably.

This is named “flocking”, teams could type of dozens of people or as much as 3,000 or extra. When on the transfer a flock strikes and adjustments course on the identical time. They disperse once more within the spring when the breeding season begins.

Arctic Hare Adaptations

Very eager sense of odor (anatomical/physiological) – To assist the arctic hares to seek out meals beneath the snow, realizing the place to dig.


The paws of the Arctic hare are padded with the fur to assist the animal to unfold weight whereas strolling on snow and supply insulation from icy surfaces.

The broad paw additionally offers a greater grip on slippery surfaces, particularly when operating from predators, which is one of the factors for Arctic hare adaptations.


Arctic hares dig burrows beneath the snow to flee frigid climate. Digging burrows is a fast and simple means of avoiding the biting wind.

Apart from, they supply refuge from predators. A single hare inhabits a single burrow until it’s a feminine together with her younger ones.


Arctic hares are loners, however, throughout the winter months, they transfer and stay in droves of as much as 100 members to detect predators and preserve heat.

Throughout snowstorms, they huddle collectively underneath a tree for heat. When attacked, the hares disperse to confuse predators.

Sense of Smell

Arctic hares have a really eager sense of odor that permits them to seek out meals hidden beneath the snow and detect predators earlier than they strike.

When arctic hares spy predators, they use their white camouflage as their first protection. They freeze and wait till they’re noticed earlier than making an attempt to run to security.

Arctic hares have uncommon habits that assist shield them from chilly atmosphere and predators, which is one of the factors for Arctic hare adaptations.

The Arctic wolf might be probably the most profitable predator of the Arctic hare, and even younger wolves of their first autumn can catch grownup hares.

Arctic foxes and ermines, that are smaller, sometimes prey on younger hares.

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