Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A large, long-limbed hare or rabbit, Lepus aquations, inhabiting the fresh-water swamps and bayous of the southern United States, as in Mississippi and Louisiana, where it is locally known as the water-rabbit. It is one of the few species of this extensive genus which are to any extent aquatic in habits. It is quite distinct from the small marsh-hare, L. palustris, which is found in the salt-marshes of the Southern States as far north as North Carolina. The range of the swamp-hare extends in the cane-brakes of the Mississippi valley as far at least as Cairo in Illinois. It is one of the larger species, 18 or 20 inches long, the ears 3 inches, the hind foot 4. The tail is very short, and the skull is less than half as wide as it is long, with confluent postorbital processes. In color the swamp-hare resembles the common gray wood-rabbit.
“I saw the large "swamp-hare" leap from her form by the selvage of the cane-brake; and, still more tempting game, the fallow-deer twice bounded before me, roused from its covert in the shady thickets of the pawpaw-trees.”
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