Hares 'permanently pregnant'

Berlin - A German study has found that European brown hares are capable of being pregnant twice at the same time, and can potentially be permanently pregnant.

Researchers at the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin fertilised female hares from a captive colony in late pregnancy and found they developed a second pregnancy about four days before delivery, a phenomenon called "superfetation" (superconception).

Simultaneous pregnancies mean female hares can give birth to as many as a third more offspring each reproductive season due to the interval between delivery of litters being reduced from 42 days - the normal length of pregnancy for hares - to 38.

"Therefore we think superfetation might be an evolutionary adaptation to increase reproductive success," said Dr Kathleen Roellig, who led the study.
We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Zama zama crackdown: What are your thoughts on West Village residents taking the law into their own hands?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Authorities should bring in the army already
10% - 1623 votes
Illegal miners can't be scapegoated for all crime
53% - 8590 votes
What else did we expect without no proper policing
34% - 5504 votes
Vigilante groups are also part of the problem
3% - 525 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
16.17
+0.5%
Rand - Pound
19.63
+0.4%
Rand - Euro
16.59
+0.4%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.52
-0.0%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-0.0%
Gold
1,802.29
0.0%
Silver
20.82
0.0%
Palladium
2,227.50
0.0%
Platinum
966.00
0.0%
Brent Crude
98.15
-1.5%
Top 40
63,996
-1.0%
All Share
70,731
-0.8%
Resource 10
64,048
-2.8%
Industrial 25
86,577
-0.6%
Financial 15
16,059
+0.6%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE