Jackrabbits are actually hares, not rabbits. Hares are larger than rabbits, and they typically have taller hind legs and longer ears. Jackrabbits were named for their ears, which initially caused some people to refer to them as “jackass rabbits.” The writer Mark Twain brought this name to fame by using it in his book of western adventure, Roughing It. The name was later shortened to jackrabbit.
Black-tailed jackrabbits are a common hare that inhabit American deserts, scrublands, and other open spaces, including farms. They can consume very large quantities of grasses and plants—including desert species such as sagebrush and cacti.
There are five other species of jackrabbits, all found in central and western North America. They are speedy animals capable of reaching