Meat-Eating Snowshoe Hares Observed Dining on Lynx in the Canadian Yukon - Inverse
Inverse.com - Wed 9 Jan 02:01 GMT

Meat-Eating Snowshoe Hares Observed Dining on Lynx in the Canadian Yukon - Inverse

The consumption of dead flesh by herbivores is increasingly being observed in nature, scientists report. In the December issue of Bio One researchers revealed that between January 2015 and July 2017 they observed scavenging hares eating the flesh of grouse, o…

  New research posits that, while rabbits won’t be decapitating us any time soon, hares with a taste for meat are no longer so fanciful after all.

  Look no further than the snowshoe hare, normally a herbivore: Between January 2015 and July 2017, Canadian researchers observed hares eating the flesh of grouse, Canadian lynx, and even other hares.

  “There have been reports of hares scavenging in older natural history observations, but I was surprised by the frequency that they scavenge and the diversity of species they will consume meat from — particularly the Canada lynx, given they are the main predator of snowshoe hares,” first author Michael Peers tells Inverse.

  “One thing that was especially surprising was the fact that hares consumed feathers of a spruce grouse carcass,” Peers notes, “I believe this is the first record of this behavior.”

  Now, Peers plans to monitor scavenging in other areas of the snowshoe hare range to determine what factors lead to its occurrence and if it is widespread for the species.