Patagonian Mara Facts

Name: Mara Patagonica
Scientific Name: Dolichotis patagonum
Family: Caviidae
Order: Rodentia
Size: Up to 70cm (28in.)
Weight: Up to 16 kg (21lb.)

The Mara is one of the largest rodents in the world, with an astounding average weight of 8kg (10 lb.) and reaching a maximum of 16 Kg (21 lb.). Although it is big and heavy this rodent is extremely fast and agile when faced with danger. Its long and powerful legs give the Mara all the speed and aerial jumps it needs to run from predators, reaching speeds of up to 70 km/h (43 mi/h).

Has 3 to 4 litters a year, having 1 to 3 pups at a time, and a gestation period of 96 days. A peculiar reproduction habit of this rodent that is not shared by many is the fact that it is a monogamous animal, finding her mate for life.

The Mara is endemic to Argentina, but is found all over the Chilean side of Patagonia nonetheless.

Completely herbivorous, feeding on grasses and herbs. Within the park they are the preyed by mountain lions, eagles, foxes and other flying predators. It has the ability of living without consuming water thanks to their metabolism and diet.

Found mainly in thickets, pampa and Patagonian Step regions.

From the South America Travel Blog:
The 7 Endemic Species of Patagonia Animals Now on the Decline

Patagonian Mara