Patagonian Mara

Episode 56 – Patagonian Mara: Urine For a Big Surprise

“…Y hoy estamos hablando de un animal argentino con patas largas y un método de comunicación único.”

Nature is weird, and the Patagonian Mara is weird right alongside it. It’s not enough that it’s a crazy rabbit kangaroo deer, but it also has a form of communication that we can all agree is pretty gross. But when everything out there either wants to steal your girl or eat her for lunch, you need to take drastic measures or urine for a rough surprise here in Life, Death, and Taxonomy.


The Mara developed as a species during a time when scientists believe South America was cut of by water, before it receded to reveal a land bridge.

  • As we learned with the Dracula ant and from bearded men that live in the mountains, isolation often produces weirdos.
    • Patagonia is a region in the lower part of South America where we find loads of weird animals and fossils like giant sloths and armadillos.
    • Today the Mara is mostly found in Argentina.
  • In this case, it produced an anatomical oddity.
  • Just by looking at them you might assume they were a lankey rabbit or a small deer.
    • They have long faces with rounded snouts
    • Round, lean bodies with short brown fur
    • Long slender legs.
    • Wide nostrils, large eyes, large triangular ears.
  • However, they are neither deer nor rabbits, they are in the rodent family.

Measure Up

Length – 69–75 centimetres (27–30 in) – 2.5 feet – How many Patagonian maras go into the height of the Monumento a la Carta Magna y las Cuatro Regiones de Argentina aka the

Monument to the Carta Magna and Four Regions of Argentina aka Monumento de los Españoles? Hint: The monument was donated by the Spanish community in Argentina to show solid sportsmanship and to commemorate Argentinian independence. It represents the four Regions of Argentina, including the Andes (mountains), the River Plate (wetlands), the Pampas (Plains), and the Chaco (semi-arid). The building started in 1910 but was not completed until 1914 because the death of the project manager, the death of the second project manager, a quarry workers strike, and a storm. Answer: 32.8 maras

Weight – 8–16 kilograms (18–35 lb) – 26.5 pounds – How many Maras go into the weight of a Dogo Argentino (93 lbs), an argentinian dog breed. Hint: Dogo Argentinos were bred in 1928 for hunting large game like wild boar. The breed is a mix of several large dogs including Great danes and the now extinct cordoba fighting dog. Answer: 3.5 maras

Fast Facts

  • The fact is that this fast fact is the fact that our friend is fast.
  • They mate for life.
    • Males follow the females around wherever they go, lest she walk off and forget about him.
  • They keep young in communal burrows, underground nurseries shared by several pups from different mothers.
    • After digging the burrow, adults never enter it again.
    • Pups are scruffy and adorable.
    • Parents go out feeding and return to nurse their young.
    • Adults hate PTA meetings and avoid each other.
      • They wait for other parents to leave the burrow before approaching it to nurse their young.
      • They approach, call out to their pups, and all the babies come out.
      • Moms give them a sniff and only give milk to the ones that smell like hers.
      • Other hungry pups may approach different parents in hopes of a meal and get batted away.
    • Communal borrows for adults and babies increase survival rates.
      • Pups in large groups have high likelihoods of making it to adulthood.
      • Despite this, Maras are near threatened because they are hunted for their furs.


Wow… glad that’s over. The Patagonian Mara is pretty nasty, but we can learn a thing or two from it, can’t we? For example, you can mark your mobile territory with interesting animal facts. Let your friends, family, and co-workers smell the glorious stench of your animal knowledge. If they ask you where you learned your stuff, you send ‘Em here, to Life Death and Taxonomy. On the other hand, if they ask you to take a shower, you may reek of something other than knowledge. In either case, spread the word, leave a review, and definitely shower!

Art by: @Xnamaru