maraScientific Name- Dolichotis patagonum

Conservation Status– Near threatened

Appearance

The mara has long legs and ears. They have dense fur which on the top is grey and on the bottom is orange and white. Across the top of its tail is a white dash. Above here the fur is black before turning to grey.

Mara’s measure between 69-75cm (27-30 inches) in length. They weigh in the region of 8-16 kilos (18-35 pounds).

Lifespan              

Mara’s can live for 7-10 years.

Diet

The mara is a herbivore. Their diet consists of green vegetation and fruit with grass forming a large portion of their diet.

Habitat

Maras inhabit the pampas in Argentina. The pampas is an area of grasslands. They prefer an area with low shrubs.

Reproduction

Maras are monogamous and mate for life.The breeding season is from August to September. In the wild birth generally occurs between September and October after a 100 day gestation. While they generally only have one little mara’s have been known to give birth to up to four litters a year.

During the breeding season a den is dug. In this den up to 22 pairs may keep their young. Pairs take turns at caring for the young in the den.

The first three weeks of the babies life is spent in or near the den. By 13 weeks the babies are weaned.

mara

Behaviour

Maras will spend just under half their day searching for food. For females this may be greater as they must prepare for children or feed them.

Predators of this species include cats, foxes and birds of prey.

Quick facts

The mara is also known as the Patagonian cavy or the Patagonian hare.

The mara is the largest species of cavy and the third largest species of rodent.

Mara’s can get around by walking, hopping, galloping or bouncing on all fours.