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  • Liebre de Patagonia en Zoo Aquarium Madrid. Zoológico Madrid.

Common name:

Patagonian Mara

Scientific name:

Dolichotis patagonum

Weight:

8-15 kg

Size:

70-75 cm
Mammals
Herbivore
Grasslands and steppes
South America

Conservation

Preocupación menor
Least concern

Who is it? 

Its name is deceptive. It’s called Patagonian Mara, though in reality it’s a rodent and belongs to the same species as the guinea pig. A shy animal (though it has very developed senses), it has powerful limbs: its hind legs are long and end in hooves which facilitate jumping and running; its forelegs, on the other hand, have claws that allow them to dig into the land. The mara’s habitat are the extensive steppes or the southeast of the American continent.

What are its habits?

It makes its burrows and it’s there that it has its kits with its permanent mate (it’s monogamous), though it doesn’t spend all its time there. It likes to sunbathe and have a siesta next to its home (it may spend long periods there). Despite this sunbathing, it is an animal that can survive without drinking; its metabolism recycles water endlessly. The male and female normally go together to look for roots and bushes, its main food. The young of as many as twenty different pairs may live together in the burrows.

Did you know…

The Patagonian mara is a common presence in the southernmost land in the world. It sits on its hindquarters, it’s similar to a dog, though it can jump like a hare.

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