Patagonian mara

The Patagonian Mara (Dolichotis patagonum), also known as the Patagonian cavy or the Patagonian hare, is a large rodent species native to South America. Here’s a description of the Patagonian Mara and its distribution:

Description of Patagonian Mara:

  • Appearance: Patagonian Maras have a unique appearance, resembling a mix between a rabbit and a small deer. They have long legs adapted for running and a slim body. Their fur is predominantly brownish-gray, with lighter underparts. They have large eyes and ears, which help them detect predators.
  • Size: Adult Patagonian Maras typically weigh between 8 to 16 kilograms (18 to 35 pounds) and measure around 45 to 75 centimeters (18 to 30 inches) in length, excluding the tail. They are among the largest rodents in the world.
  • Behavior: Patagonian Maras are social animals that live in groups called harems, consisting of a dominant breeding pair and their offspring. They are diurnal and spend much of their time grazing on grasses and other vegetation. They are also agile runners and can reach speeds of up to 45 kilometers per hour (28 miles per hour) when pursued by predators.
  • Habitat: Patagonian Maras inhabit open grasslands, scrublands, and arid steppes in South America. They prefer areas with sparse vegetation, where they can easily spot predators and escape into burrows or dense vegetation if threatened.
  • Diet: Patagonian Maras are herbivores, feeding primarily on grasses, herbs, and shrubs. They have specialized teeth adapted for chewing tough plant material.
  • Reproduction: Breeding in Patagonian Maras typically occurs throughout the year, with females giving birth to litters of one to three offspring after a gestation period of around 90 days. The young are precocial and are capable of walking and grazing shortly after birth.
  • Conservation Status: The Patagonian Mara is currently classified as near threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). While exact population numbers are unknown, they face threats from habitat loss, fragmentation, and hunting in some areas.


  • Patagonian Maras are native to South America, specifically the southern region of the continent.
  • They are found primarily in Argentina, particularly in the grasslands and steppes of Patagonia in southern Argentina.
  • They also inhabit parts of neighboring countries such as Chile, where they are found in similar habitats in regions such as the Chilean Patagonia and the southern Andes.

Patagonian Maras are fascinating and unique animals that play an important role in their native ecosystems. Efforts to conserve their habitat and protect them from human encroachment are essential for their continued survival in the wild.

Patagonian mara in Zoos

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