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Springhare: Pedetidae - Behavior And Reproduction

springhares predators hind feet

When springhares sleep, they sit on their hind legs, with their front feet and head in between their thighs and their tail placed around their head and body. They sleep during the day, because they are nocturnal (active at night), although they can The springhare uses its powerful hind legs to jump quickly, and may also use its hind legs to fight an attacking animal. (© Gregory G. Dimijian/Photo Researchers, Inc. Reproduced by permission.) occasionally be seen during the day. Their large eyes are signs that they are active during nighttime.

Springhares live alone or with another adult and young. They are not known for creating social units and usually do not communicate, with the exception of occasional low grunts. They can get along with one another in captivity, but aggression can also occur. When in the wild, they can also make male-female pairs.

Birds of prey, large carnivores, and humans are the main predators of springhares. Sometimes, when springhares first come out of their burrows at the beginning of the night, they leap into the air to try to scare off any predators that may be waiting for them. They cannot fight very well, but if they are very close to a predator, in an enclosed area, they will bite and kick fiercely with their hind feet, which have very sharp claws. However, it is more typical that they hop away from predators using their hind legs and head toward their burrow. Their great senses of sound, smell, and sight help them to stay away from predators. They also help them to notify other springhares of predators.

Springhares can be born at any time of the year. Females give birth in bare areas of their burrows, usually having only one offspring at a time, but twins do occur in rare cases. The average female springhare will have one young three times per year. At birth, springhares weigh around 9 to 11 ounces (256 to 312 grams). When they are seven weeks old, the young leave their mothers. They eat a lot of grasses at this point. They are then finished growing and go off to make their own burrows.

Springhares stand on their hind feet when in an upright posture and can travel using all four feet when they are eating or moving from place to place. When they jump, their tail becomes horizontal or curled upward. They can jump around 6 to 9 feet (1 to 3 meters) high and can also swerve sharply when they're chased by humans or other predators.

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