Lagomorphs | Lagomorpha
Lagomorphs are small to medium sized mammals that resemble rodents, which are their closest living relatives. Lagomorphs have short tales and flaps of skin that meet behind their incisor to allow gnawing with the mouth cavity closed. All lagomorphs are terrestrial and occupy habitats from tropical to the arctic, however, they are not found in Antarctica, Australia, or on most islands. All Lagomorphs are herbivores and feed on grasses and small plants. Lagomorphs produce two different types of feces, one that is wet and able to be consumed again for nutrients and other that is dry and is discarded.
The life expectancy of lagomorphs depends from family to family. Pikas typically live up to 7 years in the wild. Hares can live between 3 to 4 years, some live longer. Rabbits in the wild tend to live much shorter lives of about 3 years than those in captivity who can live between 8 to 12 years.
The Lagomorpha order consists of two families. These are the ochotonidae referring to pikas, and the leporidae referring to hares and rabbits. There are about 29 species of pikas, 28 species of rabbits, and 30 species of hares. The total lagomorph order is made up of about 87 species.
Despite all their differences lagomorphs are most closely related to rodents than any other mammals. Lagomorphs have 4 incisors in the upper jaw while rodents have 2. Also, lagomorphs are herbivores while rodents are omnivores. Lagomorphs typically have short tails, and rodents have long tails.