Mara (Dolichotis patagona) is a rodent belonging to the same as the pig, the family of half-hoofed animals (Caviidae). Inhabits the pampas of Argentina and the rocky expanses of Patagonia. A large animal, unlike other rodents. In appearance it resembles a hare. The length of the head with the body is 69-75 cm, body weight is 9-16 kg. Mara has a brown-gray, grayish or brownish-brown with a white “mirror” in the back, like deer, a thick fur coat, which becomes rusty on the sides, and a whitish tint on the belly. The mara has long and strong legs, the muzzle strongly resembles a hare, but with large short ears. Large black eyes – in thick eyelashes, which protect them from the bright sun and strong wind, carrying sand in the dry plains of Patagonia.
Mara (Dolichotis patagonica) Usually lives in small flocks. Moves by jumping. These animals are active during the day. They spend the night in burrows. In a populated area, it goes out to get food at dusk, in other territories – around the clock. This rodent digs holes or uses shelters abandoned by other animals. Usually found in pairs or small groups of up to 10-12 individuals. In one litter 2-5 cubs are born. Well-developed cubs are born in burrows, capable of running immediately. In danger, adults always run to save themselves.
Mara (Dolichotis patagonica) An excellent description of the eyewitness J. Darrell shows the habits and life situation of this beast from South America: “As we approached the sea, the landscape gradually changed; a layer of soil, exposed yellow and rusty-red pebbles, large spots of which resembled sores on the fur skin of the earth.These desert areas, apparently, were a favorite place for curious animals – Patagonian hares, because we always found them in pairs on the sparkling pebbles, or even in small groups – three, four.
Mara (Dolichotis patagonica)They were strange creatures that looked like they had been blinded very casually. They had blunt muzzles, very hare-like, neat little rabbit ears, and small slender front legs. But their hind legs were large and muscular. Most of all, their eyes were attracted – large, black, shiny, with a dry fringe of eyelashes. Like the miniature lions from Trafalgar Square, the hares lay on the pebbles, basking in the sun and looking at us with aristocratic arrogance. They let them get quite close, then suddenly their languid eyelashes languidly sank down, and the hares found themselves in a sitting position with tremendous speed. They turned their heads and, looking at us, were carried away to the streaming haze of the horizon in giant springy leaps. The black and white spots on their backs seemed like receding targets. ”
Mara is a very nervous and fearful animal and can even die of unexpected fright. She eats various plant foods. Apparently, the beast almost never drinks, being content with the moisture contained in tough grasses and branches.