genus of mammals in the family Ochotonidae of the order Lagomorpha

A pika is a small mammal related to the hare and the rabbit (lagomorph). Pikas are also known as rock rabbits or coneys. Pikas have short limbs, a round body, an even coat of fur, round ears, and no external tail.[2]

American Pika, (Ochotona princeps), in Sequoia National Park
Scientific classification

Thomas, 1897

Link, 1795
Type species
Ochotona minor
Link, 1795
(= Lepus dauuricus Pallas, 1776)

There are 37 different species of pika. Most pikas live in colder climates, on rocky mountain slopes. Pikas need cold temperatures to live, and can die if exposed to temperatures above 25.5 °C (77.9 °F).[3] They live in Asia, North America and parts of Eastern Europe. They are active during the day or twilight. Pikas do not hibernate. Because they do not hibernate, during the summer they gather food for winter. They collect hay, which they pile up to dry. They sometimes steal hay from each other. This often results in disputes. Predators, like ferrets, and large birds often use these disputes to catch pikas.

Pikas are herbivores and eat many kinds of plants, such as grasses, sedges, moss, and lichens.

Pikas in Eurasia often live in family groups and share duties of gathering food and keeping watch. Some species are territorial. Pikas in North America are asocial outside of breeding season.[4]

Pikachu from Pokemon is based off this animal.


  1. Hoffmann, Robert S.; Smith, Andrew T. (2005). Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. (eds.). Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 185–193. ISBN 0-801-88221-4.
  2. Melissa Breyer (2 September 2016). "Meet the 'mouse-bunny' that could vanish from the US". treehugger.
  3. "American Pika". U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Archived from the original on 2020-10-20. Retrieved 2018-11-18.
  4. Leininger, Charlene (2009). "Ochotona collaris". Animal Diversity Web. Retrieved March 23, 2021.