Lagomorpha
Overview
The lagomorphs are the members of the taxonomic order
Order (biology)
In scientific classification used in biology, the order is# a taxonomic rank used in the classification of organisms. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, family, genus, and species, with order fitting in between class and family...

 Lagomorpha, of which there are two living families
Family (biology)
In biological classification, family is* a taxonomic rank. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, genus, and species, with family fitting between order and genus. As for the other well-known ranks, there is the option of an immediately lower rank, indicated by the...

, the Leporidae
Leporidae
Leporids are the approximately 50 species of rabbits and hares which form the family Leporidae. The leporids, together with the pikas, constitute the mammalian order Lagomorpha. Leporids differ from pikas in having short furry tails, and elongated ears and hind legs...

 (hare
Hare
Hares and jackrabbits are leporids belonging to the genus Lepus. Hares less than one year old are called leverets. Four species commonly known as types of hare are classified outside of Lepus: the hispid hare , and three species known as red rock hares .Hares are very fast-moving...

s and rabbit
Rabbit
Rabbits are small mammals in the family Leporidae of the order Lagomorpha, found in several parts of the world...

s), and the Ochotonidae (pikas). The name of the order is derived from the Greek lagos (λαγος, "hare") and morphē (μορφή, "form").

Though these mammal
Mammal
Mammals are members of a class of air-breathing vertebrate animals characterised by the possession of endothermy, hair, three middle ear bones, and mammary glands functional in mothers with young...

s can resemble rodent
Rodent
Rodentia is an order of mammals also known as rodents, characterised by two continuously growing incisors in the upper and lower jaws which must be kept short by gnawing....

s (order Rodentia) and were classified as a superfamily
Taxonomic rank
In biological classification, rank is the level in a taxonomic hierarchy. Examples of taxonomic ranks are species, genus, family, and class. Each rank subsumes under it a number of less general categories...

 in that order until the early twentieth century, they have since been considered a separate order.
Encyclopedia
The lagomorphs are the members of the taxonomic order
Order (biology)
In scientific classification used in biology, the order is# a taxonomic rank used in the classification of organisms. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, family, genus, and species, with order fitting in between class and family...

 Lagomorpha, of which there are two living families
Family (biology)
In biological classification, family is* a taxonomic rank. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, genus, and species, with family fitting between order and genus. As for the other well-known ranks, there is the option of an immediately lower rank, indicated by the...

, the Leporidae
Leporidae
Leporids are the approximately 50 species of rabbits and hares which form the family Leporidae. The leporids, together with the pikas, constitute the mammalian order Lagomorpha. Leporids differ from pikas in having short furry tails, and elongated ears and hind legs...

 (hare
Hare
Hares and jackrabbits are leporids belonging to the genus Lepus. Hares less than one year old are called leverets. Four species commonly known as types of hare are classified outside of Lepus: the hispid hare , and three species known as red rock hares .Hares are very fast-moving...

s and rabbit
Rabbit
Rabbits are small mammals in the family Leporidae of the order Lagomorpha, found in several parts of the world...

s), and the Ochotonidae (pikas). The name of the order is derived from the Greek lagos (λαγος, "hare") and morphē (μορφή, "form").

Though these mammal
Mammal
Mammals are members of a class of air-breathing vertebrate animals characterised by the possession of endothermy, hair, three middle ear bones, and mammary glands functional in mothers with young...

s can resemble rodent
Rodent
Rodentia is an order of mammals also known as rodents, characterised by two continuously growing incisors in the upper and lower jaws which must be kept short by gnawing....

s (order Rodentia) and were classified as a superfamily
Taxonomic rank
In biological classification, rank is the level in a taxonomic hierarchy. Examples of taxonomic ranks are species, genus, family, and class. Each rank subsumes under it a number of less general categories...

 in that order until the early twentieth century, they have since been considered a separate order. For a time it was common to consider the lagomorphs only distant relatives of the rodents, to whom they merely bore a superficial resemblance.

The evolutionary history of the lagomorphs is still not well understood. Until recently, it was generally agreed that Eurymylus, which lived in eastern Asia and dates back to the late Paleocene
Paleocene
The Paleocene or Palaeocene, the "early recent", is a geologic epoch that lasted from about . It is the first epoch of the Palaeogene Period in the modern Cenozoic Era...

 or early Eocene
Eocene
The Eocene Epoch, lasting from about 56 to 34 million years ago , is a major division of the geologic timescale and the second epoch of the Paleogene Period in the Cenozoic Era. The Eocene spans the time from the end of the Palaeocene Epoch to the beginning of the Oligocene Epoch. The start of the...

, was an ancestor of the lagomorphs. More recent examination of the fossil evidence suggests that lagomorphs may have instead descended from mimotonids, while Eurymylus was more closely related to rodents (although not a direct ancestor.) The leporids first appeared in the late Eocene and rapidly spread throughout the northern hemisphere; they show a trend towards increasingly long hind limbs as the modern leaping gait developed. The pikas appeared somewhat later in the Oligocene
Oligocene
The Oligocene is a geologic epoch of the Paleogene Period and extends from about 34 million to 23 million years before the present . As with other older geologic periods, the rock beds that define the period are well identified but the exact dates of the start and end of the period are slightly...

 of eastern Asia.

Characteristics

Lagomorphs differ from rodents in that:
  • they have four incisors in the upper jaw (not two, as in the Rodentia);
  • they are almost wholly herbivorous
    Herbivore
    Herbivores are organisms that are anatomically and physiologically adapted to eat plant-based foods. Herbivory is a form of consumption in which an organism principally eats autotrophs such as plants, algae and photosynthesizing bacteria. More generally, organisms that feed on autotrophs in...

     (unlike rodents, many of which will eat both meat and vegetation; the few recorded exceptions within the Lagomorpha occur among members of both Lepus
    Lepus
    Lepus is the genus of hares.Lepus may also be:* Lepus , a group of stars* Arieşeni, a commune in Romania* Lepus-the story of a hare, a book by D.Brian Plummer...

    and Ochotona, and involve the occasional foraging for carrion as a supplementary winter food source);
  • the male's scrotum
    Scrotum
    In some male mammals the scrotum is a dual-chambered protuberance of skin and muscle containing the testicles and divided by a septum. It is an extension of the perineum, and is located between the penis and anus. In humans and some other mammals, the base of the scrotum becomes covered with curly...

     is in front of the penis (unlike rodents', which is behind); and
  • the penis contains no bone (baculum
    Baculum
    The baculum is a bone found in the penis of most mammals. It is absent in humans, but present in other primates, such as the gorilla and chimpanzee.The bone aids in sexual intercourse.-Purpose:...

    ), unlike in rodents.


However, they resemble rodents in that their teeth grow throughout their life, thus necessitating constant chewing to keep them from growing too long.

Classification

  • Order Lagomorpha Brandt 1885
    • Family Leporidae
      Leporidae
      Leporids are the approximately 50 species of rabbits and hares which form the family Leporidae. The leporids, together with the pikas, constitute the mammalian order Lagomorpha. Leporids differ from pikas in having short furry tails, and elongated ears and hind legs...

       Fischer de Waldheim 1817 (rabbit
      Rabbit
      Rabbits are small mammals in the family Leporidae of the order Lagomorpha, found in several parts of the world...

      s and hare
      Hare
      Hares and jackrabbits are leporids belonging to the genus Lepus. Hares less than one year old are called leverets. Four species commonly known as types of hare are classified outside of Lepus: the hispid hare , and three species known as red rock hares .Hares are very fast-moving...

      s)
      • Subfamily
        Extinction
        In biology and ecology, extinction is the end of an organism or of a group of organisms , normally a species. The moment of extinction is generally considered to be the death of the last individual of the species, although the capacity to breed and recover may have been lost before this point...

         Archaeolaginae
        • Genus †Archaeolagus Dice 1917
        • Genus †Hypolagus
          Hypolagus
          Hypolagus is an extinct genus of Lagomorpha, first recorded in the Hemingfordian of North America. It enters Asia during the early Turolian and spreads to Europe not much later, where it survives until the Middle Pleistocene...

          Dice 1917
        • Genus †Notolagus Wilson 1938
        • Genus †Panolax Cope 1874
      • Subfamily Leporinae Trouessart 1880
        • Genus †Alilepus Dice 1931
        • Genus Brachylagus
          Pygmy Rabbit
          The Pygmy Rabbit is a North American rabbit, and is one of only two rabbit species in America to dig its own burrow...

        • Genus Bunolagus
        • Genus Caprolagus
          Hispid Hare
          The Hispid hare Caprolagus hispidus, also called Assam rabbit is a leporid native to South Asia, whose historic range extended along the southern foothills of the Himalayas. Today, the habitat of hispid hares is highly fragmented with an area of occupancy of less than extending over an estimated...

          Blyth 1845
        • Genus Lepus
          Hare
          Hares and jackrabbits are leporids belonging to the genus Lepus. Hares less than one year old are called leverets. Four species commonly known as types of hare are classified outside of Lepus: the hispid hare , and three species known as red rock hares .Hares are very fast-moving...

          Linnaeus 1758
        • Genus Nesolagus
          Nesolagus
          Nesolagus is a genus of rabbits containing two species of striped rabbit, the Annamite Striped Rabbit and the Sumatran Striped Rabbit.-Species:Genus Nesolagus includes two species:* Annamite Striped Rabbit, Nesolagus timminsi...

          Forsyth Major 1899
        • Genus Oryctolagus
          European Rabbit
          The European Rabbit or Common Rabbit is a species of rabbit native to south west Europe and north west Africa . It has been widely introduced elsewhere often with devastating effects on local biodiversity...

          Lilljeborg 1874
        • Genus Pentalagus
          Amami Rabbit
          The Amami Rabbit , or , also known as the Ryukyu Rabbit, is a primitive dark-furred rabbit which is only found in Amami Ōshima and Toku-no-Shima, two small islands in between southern Kyūshū and Okinawa in Kagoshima Prefecture in Japan...

          Lyon 1904
        • Genus †Pliolagus Kormos 1934
        • Genus †Pliosiwalagus Patnaik 2001
        • Genus Poelagus
        • Genus †Pratilepus Hibbard 1939
        • Genus Pronolagus Lyon 1904
        • Genus Romerolagus
          Volcano Rabbit
          The Volcano Rabbit also known as teporingo or zacatuche is a small rabbit that resides in the mountains of Mexico. It is the world's second smallest rabbit, second only to the Pygmy Rabbit. It has small rounded ears, short legs, and short, thick fur. The Volcano Rabbit lives in groups of 2 to 5...

          Merriam 1896
        • Genus †Serengetilagus Dietrich 1941
        • Genus Sylvilagus Gray 1867
      • Subfamily †Palaeolaginae Dice 1929
        • Tribe †Dasyporcina Gray 1825
          • Genus †Coelogenys Illiger 1811
          • Genus †Agispelagus Argyropulo 1939
          • Genus †Aluralagus Downey 1968
          • Genus †Austrolagomys Stromer 1926
          • Genus †Aztlanolagus
            Aztlanolagus
            Aztlanolagus is an extinct monotypic genus of rabbit with a single species Aztlanolagus agilis. Differences among recovered fossils suggest that there were other species, however. The name of the genus refers to Aztlán, the legendary place of origin of the Nahua peoples as recorded in the...

            Russell & Harris 1986
          • Genus †Chadrolagus Gawne 1978
          • Genus †Gobiolagus Burke 1941
          • Genus †Lagotherium Pictet 1853
          • Genus †Lepoides White 1988
          • Genus †Nekrolagus Hibbard 1939
          • Genus †Ordolagus de Muizon 1977
          • Genus †Paranotolagus Miller & Carranza-Castaneda 1982
          • Genus †Pewelagus White 1984
          • Genus †Pliopentalagus Gureev & Konkova 1964
          • Genus †Pronotolagus White 1991
          • Genus †Tachylagus Storer 1992
          • Genus †Trischizolagus Radulesco & Samson 1967
          • Genus †Veterilepus Radulesco & Samson 1967
          • Tribe incertae sedis
            • Genus †Litolagus Dawson 1958
            • Genus †Megalagus Walker 1931
            • Genus †Mytonolagus Burke 1934
            • Genus †Palaeolagus
              Palaeolagus
              Palaeolagus is an extinct genus of lagomorph. Palaeolagus lived in the Oligocene period which was about 33-23 million years ago. The earliest leporids described from the fossil record of North America and Asia date to the upper Eocene some 40 million years ago. Selective pressure ostensibly drove...

              Leidy 1856
    • Family Ochotonidae
      Pika
      The pika is a small mammal, with short limbs, rounded ears, and short tail. The name pika is used for any member of the Ochotonidae, a family within the order of lagomorphs, which also includes the Leporidae . One genus, Ochotona, is recognised within the family, and it includes 30 species...

       Thomas 1897 pikas
        • Genus †Alloptox Dawson 1961
        • Genus †Amphilagus Tobien 1974
        • Genus †Bellatona Dawson 1961
        • Genus †Cuyamalagus Hutchison & Lindsay 1974
        • Genus †Desmatolagus Matthew & Granger 1923
        • Genus †Gripholagomys Green 1972
        • Genus †Hesperolagomys Clark et al. 1964
        • Genus †Kenyalagomys MacInnes 1953
        • Genus †Lagopsis Schlosser 1894
        • Genus Ochotona Link 1795
        • Genus †Ochotonoides Teilhard de Jardin & Young 1931
        • Genus †Ochotonoma Sen 1998
        • Genus †Oklahomalagus Dalquest et al. 1996
        • Genus †Oreolagus Dice 1917
        • Genus †Piezodus Viret 1929
        • Genus †Russellagus Storer 1970
        • Genus †Sinolagomys Bohlin 1937
        • Genus †Titanomys von Meyer 1843
    • Family †Prolagidae Gureev, 1962 (Sardinian Pika
      Sardinian Pika
      The Sardinian Pika was a primitive lagomorph native to the Mediterranean islands of Sardinia and Corsica until its extinction around the year 1800...

       and other related extinct pika-like lagomorphs)
      • Genus †Prolagus
        Prolagus
        Prolagidae is an extinct family within the order of lagomorphs, which also includes the Leporidae . One genus, Prolagus, is recognised within the family. This family as Prolaginae was previously considered a subfamily of Ochotonidae. Prolagus first appeared in the Early Miocene in Europe, where it...

        Pomel 1853
    • Family incertae sedis
      • Genus †Eurolagus Lopez Martinez 1977
      • Genus †Hsiuannania Xu 1976
      • Genus †Hypsimylus Zhai 1977
      • Genus †Lushilagus Li 1965
      • Genus †Shamolagus Burke 194
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