varying hare, any of several medium-sized hares, sometimes known as snowshoe rabbits, having white fur in winter and turning brownish in summer. They are 18 to 19 in. (45–48 cm) long and have very large back feet and relatively small ears for hares. Varying hares range over the northern half of North America. Most species feed on foliage, twigs, and other succulent vegetation in summer and on bark in winter. The varying hare is classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Lagomorpha, family Leporidae.