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Python Cookbook, 3rd Edition by David Beazley, Brian K. Jones

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Colophon

The animal on the cover of Python Cookbook, Third Edition is a springhaas (Pedetes capensis), also known as a spring hare. Springhaas are not hares at all, but rather the only member of the family Pedetidae in the order Rodentia. They are not marsupials, but they are vaguely kangaroo-like, with small front legs, powerful hind legs designed for hopping, jumping, and leaping, and long, strong, bushy (but not prehensile) tails used for balance and as a brace when sitting. They grow to be about 14 to 18 inches long, with tails as long as their bodies, and can weigh approximately eight pounds. Springhaas have rich, glossy, tawny, or golden-reddish coats with long, soft fur and white underbellies. Their heads are disproportionately large, and they have long ears (with a flap of skin at the base they can close to prevent sand from getting inside while they are digging) and large, dark brown eyes.

Springhaas mate throughout the year and have a gestation period of about 78 to 82 days. Females generally give birth to only one baby (which stays with its mother until it is approximately seven weeks old) per litter but have three or four litters each year. Babies are born with teeth and are fully furred, with their eyes closed and ears open.

Springhaas are terrestrial and well-adapted for digging, and they tend to spend their days in the small networks of their burrows and tunnels. They are nocturnal and primarily herbivorous, feeding on bulbs, roots, grains, and occasionally insects. ...

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