Mara

Name

Mara

Scientific Name

Dolichotis patagonum

Characteristics

Maras look like a cross between a rabbit and a small deer. They have short brown fur, a dark rump and a white belly. Maras have 3 sharp-clawed digits on their hind feet and 4 digits on their front feet.

 

Maras mate for life. In the breeding season about 15 pairs of mara congregate at a communal den. Females give birth to between 1-3 young; within a day the pups start grazing and wandering from the den. However, the pups stay close to the den for up to 4 months, with the mother returning once or twice a day to feed them. All the pups will greet a returning mother, but she will sniff out her own young and only suckle those. The male stands guard whilst the female is feeding her young, as maras are very wary of each other and avoid meeting.

Diet

Maras are herbivores. They primarily eat grass but will also eat any other vegetation that is available.

Size Fact

The average adult mara weighs about 8kg.

Food Fact

Maras spend nearly half of their day feeding!

Fun Fact

Maras have been known to jump up to 6 feet!

IUCN Red list

Listed as ‘near threatened’; populations are decreasing due to loss of habitat.

Where do I live?

Maras originate from South America. Most of their numbers are found in Argentina.

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