Anyone can fall in love with this adorable creature, rabbit, at first sight, such is the charm of this animal.
A rabbit admirer may or may not know there are a few other species that have a somewhat similar appearance.
Beginning with the Order Lagomorpha that rabbits belong to, two other species Pika and Hare of the same order bear a close resemblance to the rabbit.
Some other animals also have similar features, it is either because they are born with them or due to convergent evolution.
Either way, they share the same features and behavioral traits. Though these animals may not look exactly like each other, however, it is easier to get confused with several similarities. Some of the animals that look like rabbits are
Animals That Look Like Rabbits
- Guinea Pig
- Patagonian Mara
Hares and rabbits are different species but they look so alike that people think the hare is just another name for a rabbit.
They are close relatives as these animals belong to the order Lagomorpha and family Leporidae.
Since they look similar, most people hop to the conclusion that they are the same animal. They are in the same family but different species just like goats and sheep.
Hares follow the same herbivorous diet but are larger than rabbits with proportionately longer ears, hind, and feet.
Though their tail is relatively short, still, it is longer than the rabbit. They have white, black, gray, tan, or reddish-orange colors to blend with the background.
Their distinctive appearance is characterized by long ears, long hind legs, short snout, big eyes, and a stout body.
Their front teeth never stop growing, so, the hares have to chew and gnaw to shun growth.
Hares are one of the fastest mammals on open ground, relying on their good eyesight, camouflage, and high speed to avoid predators.
These agile animals can run up to 40 mph over short distances and about 35 mph over long distances. Like rabbits and some other nocturnal animals, they are the most active at night.
A Hare or jackrabbit measures about 16 to 28 inches from head to tail. Physically, they are the largest animals of the Lagomorphs order.
According to the University of Exeter, Hares weigh 3 to 12 lbs (1 to 5.5 kgs). They are widespread species, commonly found in North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa.
Rabbits and Guinea pigs have many differences but they kind of look alike. You can easily mistake them for each other.
Similar to rabbits, these cute, fluffy animals are herbivores and even day-to-day caring is somewhat similar.
Though they resemble each other, bunny and piggy pal have their own unique characteristics and traits.
Rabbits and guinea pigs look rather similar with similar lifestyles. They are furry, super sociable, eat hay and vegetables.
Guinea Pigs, domesticated species of rodents, are also called Cavies. There are four common varieties of Guinea pigs; the American (short-haired), Abyssinian (rough-coated), the Peruvian (long-coated), and the Sheltie/Silkie (long-coated). Unlike their name, Guinea pigs are not indigenous to Guinea or biologically related to pigs.
These piggy pals make great pets and have longer lifespans. These are very vocal animals, the owner will be able to communicate with them after learning its sounds. They are friendliest like rabbits.
Guinea Pigs have a very distinctive, rabbit-like appearance with small, stout bodies with no tail, large heads, and alert eyes.
These tailless rodents weigh between 1.5 to 2.5 lbs and are measured around 8 to 10 inches in length.
Their small, triangular mouth has 20 teeth that continue to grow throughout their lives. They continuously have to chew and gnaw to keep them from growing too long.
Wild Guinea pigs have coarse coats with grey, brown, or black color whereas Domestic Guinea pigs have a variety of different colors.
They live in diverse habitats with varying altitudes from 300 meters to 3,000 meters above sea level.
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Viscacha or Vizcacha is an unusual rabbit-looking animal that can be easily misunderstood for bunnies.
At first glance, most people confuse Vizcacha with rabbits. This animal is more related to rats than rabbits.
So, you will see them hanging out and getting along better with Ratatouille than Bugs Bunny.
Belonging to the family Chinchillidae, Viscacha is indigenous to South America.
As they look similar to fluffy rabbits, it seems like a short-tailed chinchilla crossed with a hare, and the result is Viscacha.
Though they are not in the same family as rabbits, their uncanny resemblance is because of convergent evolution.
Convergent Evolution means the development of similar traits or features in unrelated species.
The five distinct Viscacha species are Plains Viscacha, Lagidium Ahuacaense, Northern Viscacha, Southern Viscacha, and Wolffsohn’s Viscacha.
Unlike rabbits, they are usually found on high altitudes between 13000 to 16000 feet (4,000 and 5,000 meters).
They are primarily found in the Andes Mountains from central Peru southward to Chile and Argentina.
Living on dry, sparsely vegetated rocky cliffs, outcrops, and slopes, these animals are quite agile on the rocks.
Viscachas have short forelimbs, long hindlimbs, and a long, bushy tail with soft and dense fur.
Their long ears resemble that of long-tailed rabbits. They weigh 6.6 pounds (3 Kg) with a body length of 30 to 45 cm.
Upperpart fur is dark gray to brown, whereas the underpart is white, yellow, or grey.
Pika is a small, mountain-dwelling mammal that looks like rats and rabbits. They resemble their close relative, rabbits, having many similar features.
They have short limbs, very round bodies, an even coat of fur, and no external tail, however, unlike rabbits, they have round, pointy ears.
Pikas and Rabbits are close relatives as both belong to the group, lagomorphs, which also includes hares.
Pika or Ochotona Minor has 29 species quite similar in appearance and remarkably uniform in body proportions.
Despite its small size, Pika is one of the toughest animals that live in mountainous areas at high elevations.
They prefer rocky terrain and do not dig burrows. Collared or large-eared Pika lives on the mountains of the Himalayas at the height of over 6000 meters or 20000 feet.
Pika is small and short with large and round ears. They weigh between 2.6 oz and 10 ounces and are about seven or eight inches long.
They have brown and black coloration to camouflage them against the rocks. Their feed is the same as rabbits.
Their thick fur coat keeps them warm during the winter, as the summer arrives, they put on a much lighter coat with thin fur.
The degree of social behavior varies between rock-dwelling and burrowing pikas. Rock-dwelling Pikas are relatively asocial and like to live separately.
Burrowing Pikas live in groups, therefore more sociable. Unlike hares and rabbits, Pikas are more active during the day than at night.
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Patagonian Mara can be easily mistaken for a giant bunny. This distinctive animal is a mixture of deer, rabbits, and hares.
This relatively large rodent has a somewhat rabbit-like appearance. The long-legged rodent walks, hop in a rabbit-like fashion, gallops, or stot.
Like rabbits, they are herbivores mainly consuming grasses, seeds, fruits, and flowers.
Though they look similar to hares with long ears, long legs, they are actually rodents, closely related to guinea pigs and capybara.
Patagonian Mara species prefer dry, open, and airy habitats and are mostly found in shrublands, deserts, brushlands, and grasslands.
This species is primarily found in Patagonia, Argentina. Patagonian Mara inhabits central and southern Argentina, mostly open grasslands with a great deal of open space.
They have a similar appearance as hoofed animals with long legs and can easily come off as mini deer.
This Mara species has a grayish-brown coat with a white patch on the stomach and chest and orange coloration around the flanks and head.
The stiff, dense coat is very fine in texture. Their long ears, short tails, strong claws, and larger size set them apart from other members of their family.
As they spend most time grazing, their teeth continue to grow throughout their lifetime.
Adult Patagonian Mara species measures about 27.5 inches (70 centimeters) in length with a 1.5 to 2 inches (4cm – 5cm) tail.
They are larger and heavier weighing between 17.6 and 35.3 pounds (8 to 16 kgs). Monogamous for life, Patagonian Maras live and travel in pairs.
Habitat loss has resulted in population decline and localized extinction in some areas.
Chinchillas have a rabbit-like appearance but are much smaller in size.
Most people get confused seeing Chinchillas as they resemble multiple animal species, so it is hard to decide whether they are rabbit squirrel, fur ninja, oversized mouse, or a living cotton ball, all more or less valid. As the exotic name suggests they are beautiful.
As per studies, Belonging to the family Chinchillidae, this species is closely related to the Chinchilla rat. They are a bit larger and more robust than squirrels and smaller than rabbits in size.
Their other close relative is Viscacha which bears a close resemblance to rabbits.
There are two common varieties including long-tailed or Chilean Chinchilla lanigera and the short-tailed Chinchilla chinchilla.
Inhabiting the harsh Andes Mountains of South America, Chinchillas have the densest and ultra-soft coat thanks to the millions of years of evolution.
This animal is named after the Chincha people of the Andes Mountain who used to wear dense, velvet-like fur.
They were hunted for their prized fur to be used in clothing and other accessories.
Smaller than a house cat, Chinchillas have large, dark eyes, velvety rounded ears, and plush fur.
This handsome-looking animal has a short body, large head, delicate limbs, large hairless ears, and a bushy tail.
Adult members of the species weigh between 400 and 800 grams with a body length of 38 cm (15 inches). Their moderately long, bushy tail is up to 15 cm.
Native to western South America, Chinchillas live on the rocky slopes of the Andes Mountains at elevations between 9 and 15 thousand feet.
Due to overhunting, they remain scarce in the wild, however, raised commercially, and sold as house pets.
This animal species can live for 20 years or more in captivity. It is, undoubtedly, one of the enchanting rodents, wildly social and friendly.
To conclude, there were a few species that resemble rabbits in several ways. Many of the aforementioned species will confuse you at first glance and the onlooker may mistake them for rabbits. However, these are separate species with their unique personality and behavioral traits.