The Info List - Lagomorpha

Leporidae Ochotonidae Prolagidae

Range of Lagomorpha

occurrences of leporids and ochotonids and global environmental change (climate change, C3/C4 plants distribution).[2]

The lagomorphs are the members of the taxonomic order Lagomorpha, of which there are two living families: the Leporidae
(hares and rabbits) and the Ochotonidae
(pikas). The name of the order is derived from the Ancient Greek lagos (λαγώς, "hare") +morphē (μορφή, "form"). There are about eighty-seven species of lagomorph, including about twenty-nine species of pika, twenty-eight species of rabbit and cottontail, and thirty species of hare.[3] Lagomorphs share a common ancestor with rodents, together forming the clade Glires
(Latin: “dormice”). Like the ancestors of most modern mammalian groups, this most recent common ancestor lived after the last great extinction event, the one 66 million years ago that drove all dinosaurs extinct except for birds. Early lagomorphs arose perhaps in Asia and spread across the northern hemisphere. Later, rodents came to dominate more environmental niches, and lagomorphs seem to have been in decline.


1 Taxonomy and evolutionary history 2 Characteristics

2.1 Differences between lagomorphs and other mammals 2.2 Differences between families of lagomorphs 2.3 Pikas 2.4 Hares 2.5 Rabbits

3 Distribution 4 Biology

4.1 Digestion 4.2 Birth and early life 4.3 Sociality and safety

5 Classification 6 References

Taxonomy and evolutionary history[edit] Other names used for this order, now considered synonymous, include: Duplicidentata - Illiger, 1811; Leporida - Averianov, 1999; Neolagomorpha - Averianov, 1999; Ochotonida - Averianov, 1999; and Palarodentia - Haeckel, 1895.[1] The extinct family Prolagidae
is represented by a single species, the Sardinian pika
Sardinian pika
sardus, fossils of which are known from Sardinia, Corsica, and nearby small islands. It may have survived until about 1774.[4] The evolutionary history of the lagomorphs is still not well understood. Until recently, it was generally agreed that Eurymylus, which lived in eastern Asia and dates back to the late Paleocene
or early Eocene, was an ancestor of the lagomorphs.[5] More recent examination of the fossil evidence suggests that the lagomorphs may have instead descended from Anagaloidea, also known as "mimotonids", while Eurymylus was more closely related to rodents (although not a direct ancestor).[6] The leporids first appeared in the late Eocene and rapidly spread throughout the Northern Hemisphere; they show a trend towards increasingly long hind limbs as the modern leaping gait developed. The pikas appeared somewhat later in the Oligocene
of eastern Asia.[7] Lagomorphs were certainly more diverse in the past than in the present, with around 75 genera and over 230 species represented in the fossil record and many more species in a single biome. This is evidence that lagomorph lineages are declining.[8] Recent finds suggest an Indian origin for the clade, having possibly evolved in isolation when India
was an island continent in the Paleocene.[9] Characteristics[edit] Lagomorphs are similar to other mammals in that they all have hair, four limbs (i.e., they are tetrapods), and mammary glands and are endothermic. They differ in that they have a mixture of "primitive" and "advanced" physical traits. Differences between lagomorphs and other mammals[edit] Although lagomorphs are more closely related to rodents than any other mammals,[10] the two orders still have some major differences. Lagomorphs differ from rodents in that the former have four incisors in the upper jaw (not two, as in the Rodentia). Also, lagomorphs are almost strictly herbivorous, unlike rodents, many of which will eat both meat and vegetable matter. They resemble rodents, however, in that their incisor teeth grow continuously throughout their lives, thus necessitating constant chewing on fibrous food to prevent the teeth from growing too long.[11][12] Similarly to the rodents, bats, and some mammalian insectivores, they have a smooth-surfaced cerebrum.[13] Differences between families of lagomorphs[edit] Rabbits and hares move by jumping, pushing off with their strong hind legs and using their forelimbs to soften the impact on landing. Pikas lack certain skeletal modifications present in leporids, such as a highly arched skull, an upright posture of the head, strong hind limbs and pelvic girdle, and long limbs.[14] Also, pikas have a short nasal region and entirely lack a supraorbital foramen, while leporids have prominent supraorbital foramina and nasal regions.[15] Pikas[edit]

American pika
American pika
in Alberta

Pikas, also known as conies,[16] are entirely represented by the family Ochotonidae
and are small mammals native to mountainous regions of western North America, and Central Asia. They are mostly about 15 cm (6 in) long and have greyish-brown, silky fur, small rounded ears, and almost no tail. Their four legs are nearly equal in length. Some species live in scree, making their homes in the crevices between broken rocks, while others construct burrows in upland areas. The rock-dwelling species are typically long-lived and solitary, have one or two litters of a small number of young each year and have stable populations. The burrowing species, in contrast, are short-lived, gregarious and have multiple large litters during the year. These species tend to have large swings in population size. The social behaviour of the two groups also differs: the rock dwellers aggressively maintain scent-marked territories, while the burrowers live in family groups, interact vocally with each other and defend a mutual territory. Pikas are diurnal and are active early and late in the day during hot weather. They feed on all sorts of plant material. As they do not hibernate, they make "haypiles" of dried vegetation which they collect and carry back to their homes to store for use during winter.[14] Hares[edit]

Scrub hare
Scrub hare
in South Africa

Hares, members of genus Lepus
of family Leporidae, are medium size mammals native to all the continents except South America, Australia and Antarctica. North American jackrabbits are actually hares. Species vary in size from 40 to 70 cm (16 to 28 in) in length and have long powerful back legs, and ears up to 20 cm (8 in) in length. Although usually greyish-brown, some species turn white in winter. They are solitary animals and several litters of young are born during the year in a form, a hollow in the ground amongst dense vegetation. The young are born fully furred and active. Hares eat plant material including stripping the bark off tree trunks. They are preyed upon by large mammalian carnivores and birds of prey.[17] Rabbits[edit] Rabbits, members of family Leporidae
outside Lepus, are generally much smaller than hares and include the rock hares and the hispid hare. They are native to Europe, parts of Africa, Central and Southern Asia, North America and much of South America. They inhabit both grassland and arid regions. They vary in size from 20 to 50 cm (8 to 20 in) and have long, powerful hind legs, shorter forelegs and a tiny tail. The colour is some shade of brown, buff or grey and there is one black species and two striped ones. Domesticated rabbits come in a wider variety of colours. Although most species live and breed in burrows, the cottontails and hispid hares have forms (nests). Some of the burrowing species are colonial, but most are solitary or may feed together in small groups. Rabbits play an important part in the terrestrial food chain, eating a wide range of forbs, grasses, and herbs, and being part of the staple diet of many carnivorous species. Distribution[edit] Lagomorphs are widespread around the world and inhabit every continent except Antarctica. However, they are not found in most of the southern cone of South America, in the West Indies, Indonesia or Madagascar, nor on many islands. Although they are not native to Australia, humans have introduced them there and they have successfully colonized many parts of the country and caused disruption to native species.[18] Biology[edit] Digestion[edit] Like other herbivores, lagomorphs have to deal with a bulky diet in which the cell walls are composed of cellulose, a substance which mammalian digestive enzymes are unable to break down. Despite this, lagomorphs have developed a way of extracting maximum nourishment from their diet. First they bite off and shred plant tissues with their incisors and then they grind the material with their molars. Digestion continues in the stomach and small intestine where nutrients are absorbed. After that, certain food remains get diverted into the caecum, a blind-ended pouch. Here, they are mixed with bacteria, yeasts and other micro-organisms that are able to digest cellulose and turn it into sugar, a process known as hindgut fermentation. Other faecal matter passes along the colon and is excreted in the normal way as small, dry pellets. About four to eight hours after the meal, the contents of the caecum pass into the colon and are eliminated as soft, moist pellets known as cecotropes. These are immediately eaten by the lagomorph, which can thus extract all the remaining nutrients in the food.[19] Birth and early life[edit] Many lagomorphs breed several times a year and produce large litters. This is particularly the case in species that breed in underground, protective environments such as burrows. The altricial young of rabbits, called kittens, are born naked and helpless after a short gestation period and the mother can become pregnant again almost immediately after giving birth. The mothers are able to leave these young safely and go off to feed, returning at intervals to feed them with their unusually rich milk. In some species, the mother only visits and feeds the litter once a day but the young grow rapidly and are usually weaned within a month. Hares live above ground and their litters, containing leverets, are born in "forms" concealed among tussocks and scrub. They have a strategy to prevent predators from tracking down their litter by following the adults' scent. They approach and depart from the nesting site in a series of immense bounds, sometimes moving at right angles to their previous direction.[20] The young are precocial and a small number are born after a longer gestation period, already clad in short fur and able to move around.[12] Sociality and safety[edit] Many species of lagomorphs, particularly the rabbits and the pikas, are gregarious and live in colonies, whereas hares are generally solitary species. The rabbits and pikas rely on their holes as places of safety when danger threatens, but hares rely on their long legs, great speed and jinking gait to escape from predators. Despite these defensive devices, lagomorphs form an important part of the diet of carnivorous mammals, birds of prey and owls.[18] Classification[edit]

Order Lagomorpha
Brandt 1885[1][21]

Family Leporidae
Fischer de Waldheim 1817 (rabbits and hares)

Subfamily † Archaeolaginae

Genus †Archaeolagus Dice 1917 Genus † Hypolagus
Dice 1917 Genus †Notolagus Wilson 1938 Genus †Panolax Cope 1874

Subfamily Leporinae Trouessart 1880

Genus †Alilepus Dice 1931 Genus Brachylagus Genus Bunolagus Genus Caprolagus Blyth 1845 Genus Lepus
Linnaeus 1758 Genus Nesolagus Forsyth Major 1899 Genus Oryctolagus Lilljeborg 1874 Genus †Nuralagus Lilljeborg 1874 Genus Pentalagus Lyon 1904 Genus †Pliolagus Kormos 1934 Genus †Pliosiwalagus Patnaik 2001 Genus Poelagus Genus †Pratilepus Hibbard 1939 Genus Pronolagus Lyon 1904 Genus Romerolagus Merriam 1896 Genus †Serengetilagus Dietrich 1941 Genus Sylvilagus
Gray 1867

Subfamily †Palaeolaginae Dice 1929

Tribe †Dasyporcina Gray 1825

Genus †Coelogenys Illiger 1811 Genus †Agispelagus Argyropulo 1939 Genus †Aluralagus Downey 1968 Genus †Austrolagomys Stromer 1926 Genus † Aztlanolagus
Russell & Harris 1986 Genus †Chadrolagus Gawne 1978 Genus †Gobiolagus Burke 1941 Genus †Lagotherium Pictet 1853 Genus †Lepoides White 1988 Genus †Nekrolagus Hibbard 1939 Genus †Ordolagus de Muizon 1977 Genus †Paranotolagus Miller & Carranza-Castaneda 1982 Genus †Pewelagus White 1984 Genus †Pliopentalagus Gureev & Konkova 1964 Genus †Pronotolagus White 1991 Genus †Tachylagus Storer 1992 Genus †Trischizolagus Radulesco & Samson 1967 Genus †Veterilepus Radulesco & Samson 1967

Tribe incertae sedis

Genus †Litolagus Dawson 1958 Genus †Megalagus Walker 1931 Genus †Mytonolagus Burke 1934 Genus † Palaeolagus
Leidy 1856

Family Ochotonidae
Thomas 1897 (pikas)

Genus †Alloptox Dawson 1961 Genus †Amphilagus Tobien 1974 Genus †Bellatona Dawson 1961 Genus †Cuyamalagus Hutchison & Lindsay 1974 Genus †Desmatolagus Matthew & Granger 1923 Genus †Gripholagomys Green 1972 Genus †Hesperolagomys Clark et al. 1964 Genus †Kenyalagomys MacInnes 1953 Genus †Lagopsis Schlosser 1894 Genus Ochotona
Link 1795 Genus †Ochotonoides Teilhard de Jardin & Young 1931 Genus †Ochotonoma Sen 1998 Genus †Oklahomalagus Dalquest et al. 1996 Genus †Oreolagus Dice 1917 Genus †Piezodus Viret 1929 Genus †Russellagus Storer 1970 Genus †Sinolagomys Bohlin 1937 Genus †Titanomys von Meyer 1843

Family † Prolagidae
Gureev, 1962 ( Sardinian pika
Sardinian pika
and other related extinct pika-like lagomorphs)

Genus † Prolagus
Pomel 1853

Family incertae sedis

Genus †Eurolagus Lopez Martinez 1977 Genus †Hsiuannania Xu 1976 Genus †Hypsimylus Zhai 1977 Genus †Lushilagus Li 1965 Genus † Shamolagus Burke 1941


Lagomorphs portal

^ a b c Hoffman, R.S.; Smith, A.T. (2005). "Order Lagomorpha". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal
Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 185–211. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.  ^ Ge, Deyan; Wen, Zhixin; Xia, Lin; Zhang, Zhaoqun; Erbajeva, Margarita; Huang, Chengming; Yang, Qisen (April 3, 2013). "Evolutionary History of Lagomorphs in Response to Global Environmental Change". PLoS ONE. 8 (4:e59668): e59668. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0059668. PMC 3616043 . PMID 23573205. Retrieved May 22, 2014.  ^ "lagomorph mammal". Retrieved 2015-08-15.  ^ Hoffman, R. S.; Smith, A. T. (2005). Prolagus sardus
Prolagus sardus
in Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. Mammal
Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0.  ^ Palmer, D., ed. (1999). The Marshall Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Animals. London: Marshall Editions. p. 285. ISBN 1-84028-152-9.  ^ Rose, Kenneth David (2006). The Beginning of the Age of Mammals. The Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 315. ISBN 0-8018-8472-1.  ^ Savage, RJG, & Long, MR (1986). Mammal
Evolution: an illustrated guide. New York: Facts on File. pp. 128–129. ISBN 0-8160-1194-X. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link) ^ Lagomorph Biology: Evolution, Ecology, and Conservation.  ^ Rose K.D., Deleon V.B., Mmissian P., Rana R.S., Sahni A., Singh L. & Smith T. (2008). – Early Eocene
lagomorph (Mammalia) from western India
and the early diversification of Lagomorpha. – Proc. Royal Society B, RSPB 2007.1661.R1 ^ "Natural History Collections: Introduction to Lagomorphs". www.nhc.ed.ac.uk. Retrieved 2015-08-18.  ^ Best, T. L., Henry, T. H. (1994-06-02). " Lepus
arcticus". Mammalian Species. 457 (457): 1–9. doi:10.2307/3504088. ISSN 0076-3519. JSTOR 3504088. OCLC 46381503. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link) ^ a b Smith, Andrew T. "Lagomorph". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2013-08-13.  ^ Ferrer, I., Fabregues, I. & Condom, E. (1986). "A Golgi study of the sixth layer of the cerebral cortex I: The lissencephalic brain of Rodentia, Lagomorpha, Chiroptera, and Insectivora" (PDF). Journal of Anatomy. 145: 217–234. PMC 1166506 . PMID 3429306. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link) [need quotation to verify] ^ a b Smith, Andrew T. "Pika". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2013-08-15.  ^ "IUCN - Lagomorph specialist group". www.iucn.org. Archived from the original on 2015-08-03. Retrieved 2015-08-18.  ^ "Lagomorphs - EnchantedLearning.com". www.enchantedlearning.com. Retrieved 2015-08-15.  ^ Smith, Andrew T. "Hare". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2013-08-15.  ^ a b Klappenbach, Laura. "Hares, Rabbits and Pikas". About.com. Retrieved 2013-08-14.  ^ "Exploring a Rabbit's Unique Digestive System". Rabbits for Dummies. Retrieved 2013-08-14.  ^ Burton, Maurice (1971). The Observer's Book of British Wild Animals. Frederick Warne & Co. pp. 109–112. ISBN 9780723215035.  ^ The Paleobiology Database Lagomorpha
entry Accessed on 13 May 2010

v t e

Extant mammal orders

Kingdom Animalia Phylum Chordata Subphylum Vertebrata (unranked) Amniota



Monotremata (Platypus and echidnas)


Metatheria ( Marsupial


Paucituberculata (Shrew opossums) Didelphimorphia (Opossums)


(Monito del monte) Notoryctemorphia ( Marsupial
moles) Dasyuromorphia
(Quolls and dunnarts) Peramelemorphia
(Bilbies and bandicoots) Diprotodontia
(Kangaroos and relatives)

Eutheria ( Placental



Cingulata (Armadillos) Pilosa
(Anteaters and sloths)


(Tenrecs and golden moles) Macroscelidea (Elephant shrews) Tubulidentata (Aardvark) Hyracoidea (Hyraxes) Proboscidea
(Elephants) Sirenia
(Dugongs and manatees)



(Hedgehogs, shrews, moles and relatives) Chiroptera (Bats) Pholidota (Pangolins) Carnivora
(Dogs, cats and relatives) Perissodactyla (Odd-toed ungulates) Artiodactyla (Even-toed ungulates and cetaceans)


Rodentia (Rodents) Lagomorpha
(Rabbits and pikas) Scandentia (Treeshrews) Dermoptera (Colugos) Primates

v t e

Extant Lagomorpha

Kingdom Animalia Phylum Chordata Class Mammalia Infraclass Eutheria Superorder Euarchontoglires

Family Ochotonidae


Subgenus Pika: Alpine pika
Alpine pika
(O. alpina) Helan Shan pika (O. argentata) Collared pika
Collared pika
(O. collaris) Hoffmann's pika
Hoffmann's pika
(O. hoffmanni) Northern pika
Northern pika
(O. hyperborea) Pallas's pika
Pallas's pika
(O. pallasi) American pika
American pika
(O. princeps) Turuchan pika
Turuchan pika
(O. turuchanensis)

Subgenus Ochotona: Gansu pika
Gansu pika
(O. cansus) Plateau pika
Plateau pika
(O. curzoniae) Daurian pika
Daurian pika
(O. dauurica) Tsing-ling pika
Tsing-ling pika
(O. huangensis) Nubra pika
Nubra pika
(O. nubrica) Steppe pika
Steppe pika
(O. pusilla) Afghan pika
Afghan pika
(O. rufescens) Moupin pika
Moupin pika
(O. thibetana) Thomas's pika
Thomas's pika
(O. thomasi)

Subgenus Conothoa: Chinese red pika
Chinese red pika
(O. erythrotis) Forrest's pika
Forrest's pika
(O. forresti) Gaoligong pika
Gaoligong pika
(O. gaoligongensis) Glover's pika
Glover's pika
(O. gloveri) Himalayan pika
Himalayan pika
(O. himalayana) Ili pika
Ili pika
(O. iliensis) Koslov's pika
Koslov's pika
(O. koslowi) Ladak pika
Ladak pika
(O. ladacensis) Large-eared pika
Large-eared pika
(O. macrotis) Muli pika
Muli pika
(O. muliensis) Black pika
Black pika
(O. nigritia) Royle's pika
Royle's pika
(O. roylei) Turkestan red pika
Turkestan red pika
(O. rutila)

Family Leporidae
(Rabbits and Hares)


Amami rabbit
Amami rabbit
(P. furnessi)


Riverine rabbit
Riverine rabbit
(B. monticularis)


Sumatran striped rabbit
Sumatran striped rabbit
(N. netscheri) Annamite striped rabbit
Annamite striped rabbit
(N. timminsi)


Volcano rabbit
Volcano rabbit
(R. diazi)


Pygmy rabbit
Pygmy rabbit
(B. idahoensis)

Sylvilagus (Cottontail rabbits)

Subgenus Tapeti: Swamp rabbit
Swamp rabbit
(S. aquaticus) Tapeti
(S. brasiliensis) Dice's cottontail
Dice's cottontail
(S. dicei) Omilteme cottontail
Omilteme cottontail
(S. insonus) Marsh rabbit
Marsh rabbit
(S. palustris) Venezuelan lowland rabbit
Venezuelan lowland rabbit
(S. varynaensis)

Subgenus Sylvilagus: Desert cottontail
Desert cottontail
(S. audubonii) Manzano mountain cottontail
Manzano mountain cottontail
(S. cognatus) Mexican cottontail
Mexican cottontail
(S. cunicularis) Eastern cottontail
Eastern cottontail
(S. floridanus) Tres Marias rabbit
Tres Marias rabbit
(S. graysoni) Mountain cottontail
Mountain cottontail
(S. nuttallii) Appalachian cottontail
Appalachian cottontail
(S. obscurus) Robust cottontail
Robust cottontail
(S. robustus) New England cottontail
New England cottontail
(S. transitionalis)

Subgenus Microlagus: Brush rabbit
Brush rabbit
(S. bachmani) San José brush rabbit
San José brush rabbit
(S. mansuetus)


European rabbit
European rabbit
(O. cuniculus)


Bunyoro rabbit
Bunyoro rabbit
(P. marjorita)

Pronolagus (Red rock hares)

Natal red rock hare
Natal red rock hare
(P. crassicaudatus) Jameson's red rock hare
Jameson's red rock hare
(P. randensis) Smith's red rock hare
Smith's red rock hare
(P. rupestris) Hewitt's red rock hare
Hewitt's red rock hare
(P. saundersiae)


Hispid hare
Hispid hare
(C. hispidus)

Lepus (Hares)

Subgenus Macrotolagus: Antelope jackrabbit
Antelope jackrabbit
(L. alleni)

Subgenus Poecilolagus: Snowshoe hare
Snowshoe hare
(L. americanus)

Subgenus Lepus: Arctic hare
Arctic hare
(L. arcticus) Alaskan hare
Alaskan hare
(L. othus) Mountain hare
Mountain hare
(L. timidus)

Subgenus Proeulagus: Black-tailed jackrabbit
Black-tailed jackrabbit
(L. californicus) White-sided jackrabbit
White-sided jackrabbit
(L. callotis) Cape hare
Cape hare
(L. capensis) Tehuantepec jackrabbit
Tehuantepec jackrabbit
(L. flavigularis) Black jackrabbit
Black jackrabbit
(L. insularis) Scrub hare
Scrub hare
(L. saxatilis) Desert hare
Desert hare
(L. tibetanus) Tolai hare
Tolai hare
(L. tolai)

Subgenus Eulagos: Broom hare
Broom hare
(L. castrovieoi) Yunnan hare
Yunnan hare
(L. comus) Korean hare
Korean hare
(L. coreanus) Corsican hare
Corsican hare
(L. corsicanus) European hare
European hare
(L. europaeus) Granada hare
Granada hare
(L. granatensis) Manchurian hare
Manchurian hare
(L. mandschuricus) Woolly hare
Woolly hare
(L. oiostolus) Ethiopian highland hare
Ethiopian highland hare
(L. starcki) White-tailed jackrabbit
White-tailed jackrabbit
(L. townsendii)

Subgenus Sabanalagus: Ethiopian hare
Ethiopian hare
(L. fagani) African savanna hare
African savanna hare
(L. microtis)

Subgenus Indolagus: Hainan hare
Hainan hare
(L. hainanus) Indian hare
Indian hare
(L. nigricollis) Burmese hare
Burmese hare
(L. peguensis)

Subgenus Sinolagus: Chinese hare
Chinese hare
(L. sinensis)

Subgenus Tarimolagus: Yarkand hare
Yarkand hare
(L. yarkandensis)

Subgenus incertae sedis: Japanese hare
Japanese hare
(L. brachyurus) Abyssinian hare
Abyssinian hare
(L. habessinicus)

Taxon identifiers

Wd: Q25401 ADW: Lagomorpha EoL: 1686 EPPO: 1LAGOO Fauna Europaea: 12657 Fossilworks: 42151 GBIF: 785 ITIS: 180105 MSW: 13500001 NCBI: 9975 WoRMS: 993617

Authority control

LCCN: sh85073948 GND: 4196535-8 BNF: cb11952085k (data) N