Patagonian Mara: the hare or the pig

Planet Earth never ceases to amaze people with the variety of animals inhabiting it. One of the most mysterious animals living in South America and belongs to the rodent family, a family svincovyj, but polyarity.

But from the outside it looks like a hare. How can this be? It’s just an ordinary Mara – one of the largest rodents in the world.

Mar there are many, but the most common is considered to be a Patagonian Mara. What is this beast?

What kind of animal?

Despite some similarity, this animal is much bigger than a Guinea pig – its body length is 70 cm and a weight of from 12 to 16 kg. This animal is more like the hare. Mara has the same thick, yet short fur, the same face, the same strong legs. The color is too similar to the hare: gray, gray-brown, brown-brown. Differs only in the length of ears – Mara’s it is less.

The animal has a short tail, which is curled up and shiny black mustache, stands out in the color coat. In the mouth of Mary has four molars and two large incisor at the front – like a real rodent. And the wind and the bright sun of the beast save thick long eyelashes.

To prokopanik Mara considers thereforethat one of the fingers on the limbs has capitivity claw.

Maru is often called the Patagonian hare’s affinity with these animals habits. They both have short front and long hind legs, moving in leaps and bounds. But Mara runs more unusual: makes grumbling sounds, jumps, zigzags, starting from four feet and when goes to the step becomes very slow.

Say that sitting Mar similar to hare, and running – deer. Because of the thin legs and fast running, this animal is not always possible to recognize the rodent. But despite the high speed and the ability to make almost six-foot jumps, these rodents are very shy and can even die from severe fright due to the specific development of the nervous system. In the event of danger, Mara flees, or emit a sharp-smelling gases from the stomach, scaring of the enemy.


Mara inhabit the territory of the following countries in South America:

  • Paraguay
  • Bolivia,
  • Argentina (Patagonia).

To settle the animals prefer an open area covered with grass.


Patagonian hares are active during the day – they love to bask in the sun, lying on his side and stretching out his limbs. In leisure hours they can be located between the bushes. The night the animals spend in their burrows connected by tunnels, or occupy someone else’s vacant.

Living on the territory occupied by agriculture, are switching to nocturnal and get their food in the twilight.

Mary eat mainly food of plant origin: flowers, leaves, grasses, roots, grass, seeds, tree bark. Prefer to look for food where you can dig up the soil. Almost all day the Mara spends looking for food. And the animal has time to grind the growing during all the life of the cutters on hard stems or bark.

It is surprising that these rodents do not drink much, because all the necessary fluid enters the organism together with juicy herbs.

Animals live in flocks of up to 12-15 individuals. Each is able to maintain the cleanliness of the hole and to periodically get rid of food residues and their bowel movements. In addition, Patagonian hares can be called family Pets – they form a couple remain faithful to each other for life. Sometimes the male can expect the female, which is not yet ready for breeding, and as soon as it is ripe, the animals can start a family.

Females carry their young for up to 70 days. On average, it appears from two to five kids, from birth capable of independent movement. The first two or three months the mother feeds them with milk, after that they still lived a long time with a big family. Often during the breeding season all of the cubs stumble into one group of 10-15 individuals, but each female is able to recognize their children by smell and feed only them. But sometimes the couple is able to take care of and another baby to feed and look after it as their own.


Interestingly, the Patagonian Mara is very easy to domesticate these beasts are not afraid to take food from the man. Rodents are extremely friendly, unpretentious and easy to get along with other Pets. Of the disadvantages of acquiring such a pet can be the fact that they can not dig burrows, which can be problematic for many who want to take home a furry friend.

Recently increased the number of farms which bred Mar. In captivity, the animals breed without difficulty, near a man can live up to 14 years whereas in the wild rarely live to be 10.

The number

To date, Patagonian Mara is listed in the Red book and represents great value for his dwelling place.

The species is endangered for many reasons:

  • On Mar hunted for fur and meat.
  • A rapidly expanding population of rabbits survival of animals with their territory and is forage competition.
  • Are destroyed the natural habitats of rodents.

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