Why do hares box? Hoping for warm leveret

Hare today…out on the farmland of the Fen Edge Patch (12th May), about 500 metres north of the lode bank on which I was walking. There were three, this male and female were sparring as part of their well-known “courtship” boxing match, the other male was hanging around voyeuristically, presumably hoping to get a shot in the ring before the bell (the harebell?). The European, or brown, hare, is one of biggest species of hare and is adapted to temperate, open country, feeding on grass, herbs, and sometimes twigs, buds, bark, and field crops, particularly in winter. Boxing between hares is usually just the female fending off the sexual advances of a male if she is not ready to mate or else testing his ardour

Lepus europaeus, the European hare, can run away from a Brexit bore at up to 56 kilometres per hour. The collective noun for a group of hares is a “drove” hence the phrase “his lack of hare drove him to drink”. A tepid baby hare is a warm leveret, named in honour of The Normal song and the Grace Jones’ album, both alluding to J.G. Ballard’s controversial 1973 novel Crash.

If you learned something from Sciencebase, enjoyed a song, snap, or the science, please consider leaving a tip to cover costs. The site no longer runs Google ads or similar systems, so your visit is untainted.