PATAGONIAN CAVY
Dolichotis patagonum




DISTRIBUTION AND HABITAT
They live in Argentina and steppe region of Patagonia. The Patagonian mara inhabits lowland areas of coarse grassland or open scrub desert, but may also occur in forests.
 


DESCRIPTION
It is a small rodent, with long legs, the body is similar to  deer’s body. Patagonian cavies are grayish-brown above and white below. The front feet have 4 toes, the back 3 toes having a sharp claw. The hind legs are slightly larger than the front. The eyes and nose are large, and the ears are slightly pointed.
 


REPRODUCTION
Patagonian cavies are monogamous for life. A cavy pair breeds two or three times a year. The litters of 1-3 young are born after a 3 month gestation period. The young are well developed at birth. The young are weaned after 2-3 months and quickly reach sexual maturity; 2-3 months for females, 6 months for males.
 


DIET
In the wild they feed on seeds, cactus, fruits and leaves. Patagonian cavies eat almost any vegetation but prefer grasses and herbs.
 
SOCIAL BEHAVIOR
Although cavies spend more of their time in pairs, but seasonally they will travel in very large groups (70+)
 




LONGEVITY
They can live approximately 15 years.