We all know how rabbits and hares escape ending up being a meal to a fox or a hawk, with long ears to hear danger coming, burrowing, long and powerful hind legs for speed and also living a social life as well as its famous method to outnumber their enemies by "breeding like rabbits".
Rabbits have been proven to be successful when it comes to adapting in different environments from deserts, temperate and tropical forests and even tundra.
Although certainly not the strongest, the fastest or smartest of all mammals, lagomorphs do carve out a strong ecological niche in their natural habitats, being prey to numerous predators as well as providing empty burrows for shelter for other animals.
But what if a few certain lagomorphs were to evolve extra defences to either help blend in with their surroundings (certain patterns like stripes or spots and maybe some could have adaptations like tufted ears to blend in patches of certain flowering plants) and go in a defensive method (rather than running away) to stand its back and fight back or discourage smaller predators like stoats and weasels like quills like that of a porcupine or hedgehog if possible or something?
The rabbits could occupy several ecological niches of well-armed herbivores such as porcupines due to convergent evolution.
Other anti predator adaptations could include feigning death or warning colouration.
And maybe some could share a symbiotic relationship with certain thorny plants or in Br'er rabbit's case "being born and raised in a briar patch" which could serve as a fortress against larger predators and maybe could benefit smaller animals.
Question- What I'm asking what kinds of defences are most likely to evolve? And what're the consequences of any particular adaptation? And what specific predators would specialise to hunt these lagomorphs?