AskDefine | Define lagomorph

Dictionary Definition

lagomorph n : relative large gnawing animals; distinguished from rodents by having two pairs of upper incisors specialized for gnawing [syn: gnawing mammal]

User Contributed Dictionary



From Λαγομορφα, hare-shaped, which combines λαγοσ, hare, + μορφὴ, form.


  1. A member of the mammalian taxonomic order, Lagomorpha, which includes hares, rabbits, and pikas.

Extensive Definition

The lagomorphs, order Lagomorpha, are an order of mammals of which there are two families, Leporidae (hares and rabbits), and Ochotonidae (pikas).
Though members of order Lagomorpha can resemble rodents (order Rodentia), and were classified as a superfamily 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.


Lagomorphs (loģ o-moŕ fs)(Gr. lagos, hare: + morphē, form) differ from rodents in that:
  • they have four incisors in the upper jaw (not two, as in the Rodentia);
  • they are almost wholly herbivorous (unlike rodents, many of which will eat both meat and vegetation; the few recorded exceptions within the Lagomorpha occur among members of both Lepus and Ochotona, and involve the occasional foraging for carrion as a supplementary winter food source);
  • the male's scrotum is in front of the penis (unlike rodents, which is behind); and
  • the penis contains no bone (baculum), 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.


See also


lagomorph in Bulgarian: Зайцеподобни
lagomorph in Catalan: Lagomorf
lagomorph in Czech: Zajícovci
lagomorph in Danish: Støttetandede
lagomorph in German: Hasenartige
lagomorph in Estonian: Jäneselised
lagomorph in Spanish: Lagomorpha
lagomorph in Esperanto: Leporuloj
lagomorph in Basque: Lagomorpha
lagomorph in French: Lagomorpha
lagomorph in Korean: 토끼목
lagomorph in Upper Sorbian: Zajacy
lagomorph in Croatian: Zečevi
lagomorph in Italian: Lagomorpha
lagomorph in Hebrew: ארנבאים
lagomorph in Lithuanian: Kiškiažvėriai
lagomorph in Limburgan: Knienechtege
lagomorph in Hungarian: Nyúlalakúak
lagomorph in Maltese: Lagomorfu
lagomorph in Dutch: Haasachtigen
lagomorph in Japanese: ウサギ目
lagomorph in Norwegian: Haredyr
lagomorph in Norwegian Nynorsk: Haredyr
lagomorph in Occitan (post 1500): Lagomorpha
lagomorph in Polish: Zajęczaki
lagomorph in Portuguese: Lagomorfos
lagomorph in Romanian: Lagomorfe
lagomorph in Quechua: Rinrisapa khankiq
lagomorph in Russian: Зайцеобразные
lagomorph in Simple English: Lagomorpha
lagomorph in Slovak: Dvojitozubce
lagomorph in Slovenian: Lagomorfi
lagomorph in Finnish: Jäniseläimet
lagomorph in Swedish: Hardjur
lagomorph in Turkish: Tavşanımsılar
lagomorph in Chinese: 兔形目
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