Snowshoe Hare

Snowshoe hare, Lepus americanus

The snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus) is best known for its seasonally-varying fur color, which changes from reddish brown in summer to white in winter. Today, this hare is found across much of Canada, as well as in the higher elevations of the U.S., including the Sierra Nevadas, Rocky Mountains and Appalachian Mountains. However, they had a much more southerly distribution during the late Pleistocene, including across much of the midwestern U.S. Their presence in these areas during the last glaciation provides evidence that the climate was cooler at that time, and, in particular, that the summers were significantly cooler than these areas experience today.

Snowshoe hare with summer coloration

Snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus) in summer coloration. By Dave Bezaire & Susi Havens-Bezaire (Flickr: Don't Bug Me-I'm Eating the Rocks!) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Lagomorpha (Rabbits, Hares and Pika)
Leporidae (Rabbits and Hares)

Length: 36-52 cm (14.2-20.5 in)

Weight: 0.9-2.3 kg (2-5 lb)

Source: Murray 2003