Physical characteristics

Resembling a small kangaroo, the springhare has short, front limbs and powerful hind legs, the latter adapted to ric-ochetal locomotion. The front paws are clawed for use in digging. The hind feet have four long toes with straight claws. The heel, the sole of the foot, and the base of each toe are hairless. Its large eyes are set in a blunt, short head. It has long vibrissae and eyelashes and long, narrow ears, which are thinly haired at the tip and naked inside. A well-developed tragus keeps sand from the ears when the animal is burrowing

The bushy tail is roughly the same length as the head and body and is tawny in color. The distal third is dark brown to black and the tip is noticeably black

The pelage of the body is composed of long, straight hairs and is soft and well-furred. The hairs of the dorsal area are a pinkish brown to sand in color with black tips and dark gray roots. The ventrum is buffy-white with a similarly-colored strip running upwards in front of the thighs and on the

Springhare (Pedetes capensis). (Illustration by Joseph E. Trumpey)

A springhare (Pedetes capensis) in mid-leap. (Photo by Frans Lant-ing/Minden Pictures. Reproduced by permission.)

Springhare (Pedetes capensis). (Illustration by Joseph E. Trumpey)

A springhare (Pedetes capensis) in mid-leap. (Photo by Frans Lant-ing/Minden Pictures. Reproduced by permission.)

inside of the leg. The coloration of the springhare varies geographically: specimens from eastern South Africa are paler than those found further to the west.

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