Twycross Zoo announced the birth of two healthy baby Maras on January 30. Mom and babies are doing very well. Resembling long-legged rabbits with bodies like small deer, Maras are the fourth largest rodent in the world, after capybaras, beavers, and porcupines. They can grow to be as much as 18 inches (45 cm) tall and weigh up to 24 pounds (11kg) as adults. They are rather fast for their size, able to run at speeds of 18 mph (29 km) because their body is made for it, with long powerful hind legs that end in three digits each bearing a claw that resembles a hoof. Their front legs are shorter in contrast, with four sharp claws that come in handy when they dig burrows for their young.
There are two species: Patagonian and Chacoan. They are quite common to the plains and scrublands of the Patagonian steppes of Argentina, but live in other areas of South America such as Paraguay.