Patagonian Cavy Facts

Patagonian mara is also known as Patagonian hare and cavy and is related closely to the Guinea pig. They live in dry arid grasslands where mainly feed on grass. However, they also feed on any available vegetation. The following are the Patagonian cavy facts.

Patagonian cavies show some behavioral traits which are quite unusual among other rodents in keeping with its peculiar appearance. They are active during the day where they spend most of their time basking in the sun, resting on their haunches, or with their front limbs folded under their bodies just like a cat.

The mara will remain vigilant for predators. However, when it's threatened, it might escape by galloping. Surprisingly, this tiny species is able to reach speeds of some 45km/hr over distance of around one kilometer.

The Patagonian mara feeds on a variety of vegetation, normally in shrubland or grass during the day, and sheltering in abandoned burrow of other species, or in dense vegetation during the night. The most unnatural feature of this species, perhaps, is its reproductive and social behavior. They are strictly monogamous, a rare characteristic among animals, forming some lifelong partnerships which generally avoid contacts with co-species, except during some curious arrangements which form in austral summer breeding season.

Another of the Patagonian cavy facts is that the female cavies dig burrows in which the young ones are normally communicably reared. After gestation period lasting 90 days, the female will give birth to a litter, normally of two young close to the burrow's entrance. The young, born developed well, with already opened eyes, move quickly into the burrow that might be co-habited by offspring of numerous other breeding pairs.

The young are going to remain near the burrow for the following four months, from where they are daily visited by the mother for them to be suckled. The female makes a shrill call when the breeding pair has a visit to the burrow. This brings out all the infants in the burrow to the surface. Then the female is going to identify, through smell, it's own offspring within the group while chasing off the offspring of other pairs, which normally try to, and sometimes are successful in, getting the female's milk.

When identified, the female is going to lead it's offspring to some short distance away from the burrow in order to feed them, and will chase others as they approach. Therefore, the other breeding pairs wait till the preceding pair has left, before making it to the burrow. The communal behavior is thought to help in reducing predation, since it means that the adults are present more often around the burrow.

Other Patagonian cavy facts