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Patagonian Mara

Scientific name:  Dolichotis patagonum
Class:  Mammals
Continent:  South America
Habitat:  Praderas y estepas
Diet:  Herbívoro
Weight:  8 - 15 kg
Size:  70 - 75 cm
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Meet the Patagonian Mara!

Its name is misleading. The Patagonian Mara is sometimes called the Patagonian Hare, although it is actually a rodent and belongs to the same species as the guinea pig.

A shy animal (but with highly developed senses), it has powerful limbs: its hind legs are long and end in hoof-like paws ideal for  jumping and running, while its front legs have claws that allow it to dig into the ground.

It lives in the vast steppes of the far south of the American continent.

What are its habits?

It builds its burrows where it breeds with its lifelong mate (it is monogamous), although it does not spend all its time in the burrow. It likes to sunbathe and can spend long periods of time napping in the sun. Despite this sunbathing, it is an animal that survives without drinking; its metabolism recycles water countless times.

Male and female usually travel together to look for roots and shrubs, their main food. In the burrows, the young of up to twenty different pairs may be gathered together.

Extinct in the wild
Critically endangered
Near threatened
Least concern
Insufficient data
Not evaluated


The Patagonian Mara is a common presence in the southernmost territory of the world. Sitting on its hindquarters, it resembles a dog, although it is capable of hopping like a hare.

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Learn more about some of the Zoo's animals in a unique adventure

Learn more about some of the Zoo's animals in a unique adventure