Are March hares really mad?

26 de març de 2018
Source: Wikimedia commons
Source: Wikimedia commons

As mad as a March hare, or so the saying goes, is used to describe someone who is wild and crazy. Hares are bigger versions of rabbits, and they are so popular in UK culture that you might even know of one famous hare from “Alice in Wonderland”. So, are they really mad? Read on and discover more animal myths in our March post…

A proverb is a simple and concrete saying, popularly known and repeated, that expresses a truth based on common sense or experience”. (Wikipedia) We have lots of proverbs about animals in English, which are based on their behaviour.  Here are just a few.

As mad as a March hare.

Hares are generally quiet and shy but they roam the English countryside in March doing all kinds of strange things. They box, they fight, they run around in gangs. The is true and the reason for all this energy is to find a mate and make some hare babies!

Source: Wikimedia commons
Source: Wikimedia commons

As blind as a bat

Someone who cannot see well can be described as blind as a bat (This is sometimes used to describe me; I am as blind as a bat without my glasses!).  Bats live in the dark, fly at night and use sonar to navigate around objects. Having said that, this proverb is not completely true. While bats do use sonar to “see” they also have very small eyes that give them vision. Although they cannot see well, they are not blind.

Source: Wikimedia commons
Source: Wikimedia commons

Crocodile tears

Crocodile tears can be used to describe someone who fakes emotion.  In fact, crocodiles do cry when they eat and not because they are sad as they are killing their food! Crocodiles cannot chew and the glands that produce their tears are near their mouth, which makes them force out tears when they eat! So crocodile tears really are false tears!

An elephant never forgets.

Another animal whose eyesight is bad is the elephant. They may not need good eyesight though as they are widely believed to have fantastic memories. So much so, that they are known to recognise other elephants and humans who they knew from many years before. The TED Ed video below explains more.

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