Patagonian Mara

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Patagonian mara (Dolichotis patagonum)

This is a large South American rodent of Mara genus. The species is spread in the Patagonian part of Argentina. It is often called Patagonian rabbit due to the visual resemblance to rabbits.



It is found only in Argentina.



The species prefers flat areas, but it is also found in areas overgrown with bushes and even forests. In the northern areas, it also inhabits areas with sparse semi-desert vegetation.


Morphological features

The Patagonian mara resembles a rabbit. It has quite long ears and limbs. The hind limbs are longer and more muscular than the front limbs, which have four digits, and the hind limbs have three digits. The tail is short and sparsely furred. The fur on the back and upper part of the body is gray, white below, and orange on the sides. The length of the head with the body is 69-75 cm, the tail 4-5 cm. Its body weighs 8-16 kg.



The Patagonian mara prefers areas with sandy soil and low shrubby vegetation. They are well suited for running in the open plains and steppes. They have a unique social organization represented by monogamous couples living in a colony.



The representatives of the species are herbivores, eating mainly the green part of plants and fruit. The Maras are primarily diurnal and spend about 46% of their daily activity eating.



Males spend more time patrolling the territory, in order to keep it from predators. The main enemies are cats, foxes and birds of prey. The little Maras are the most vulnerable.



In southern Argentina, Maras breed from August to January. Their pregnancy lasts about 100 days. Births in Patagonia usually occur in September and October, immediately after the winter rains and summer dry season. They usually give birth once a year.