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Patagonian Mara

Fact File

Continent: South America
Habitat: Sandy or shrub areas
Weight and length: 8.12kg, 70.7cm


Diet: Herbivore (eats plants)
Gestation: 100 days


Conservation Status: NT

Patagonian Mara

Dolichotis patagonum

Animals — Mammals — Rodentia (rodents) — Caviidae (South American rodent family)

Maras are members of the cavy family, meaning they are related to guinea pigs and capybaras. They are monogamous, as they have one mate for their entire lives. This is quite rare in mammals. Females dig burrows to communally raise their young. Pairs will take it in turns to visit their young daily, the female letting only her young suckle, and the male defending them.

They can run up to 18 miles an hour, and often hop, gallop, or bounce. The highest a mara has been recorded to jump was 1.8m (6 feet).

Patagonian maras are active during the day, and like to sun bathe. They may fold their legs under their bodies as they do this, in a similar way to cats.

Diet: They eat a variety of plants, usually from the grassland or shrub land.

Life Expectancy: They likely live for around 14 years in captivity.

Distribution: Grasslands and shrub lands of Argentina.