It is related to the rabbit, which is in the same family but a different genus. The European Hare breeds on the ground rather than in a burrow and relies on speed to escape. In comparison to the rabbit, it is larger in size, has longer ears and longer legs.
European Hares are generally shy mammals, however, their behaviour changes in springtime. Many are seen in broad daylight chasing one another in meadows. This behaviour appears to be competitions between the males to attain dominance which allows them more access to breeding females.
During their spring dominance competitions, males can be seen performing what is known as ‘boxing matches’, hitting each other with their paws. It is most commonly done by the males, however, females have been known to perform this act by hitting males when they are not ready to mate or to test the determination of the male.