Hares and jackrabbits are leporids belonging to the genus Lepus. Hares are classified in the same family as rabbits. They are similar in size and form to rabbits and have similar herbivorous diets, but generally have longer ears and live solitarily or in pairs.
Hares are swift animals and can run up to 80 km/h (50 mph) over short distances. Over longer distances, the European hare (Lepus europaeus) can run up to 56 km/h (35 mph). The five species of jackrabbits found in central and western North America are able to run at 64 km/h (40 mph) over longer distances, and can leap up to 3 m (10 ft) at a time.
Normally a shy animal, the European brown hare changes its behavior in spring, when they can be seen in daytime chasing one another. This appears to be competition between males to attain dominance for breeding. During this spring frenzy, animals of both sexes can be seen "boxing", one hare striking another with its paws. This behavior gives rise to the idiom mad as a March hare. This is present not only in intermale competition, but also among females toward males to prevent copulation.