Trio of Big-Eyed Baby Maras Born at Artis Zoo
April 16, 2013
Last weekend three baby Maras were born at Amsterdam's Artis Royal Zoo. Maras mate for life and usually have one to three babies every year. Newborns are so well developed they can begin to graze within a day.
Maras (Dolichotis patagonum) are the fourth largest rodent in the world, after capybaras, beavers, and porcupines, reaching about 18 inches (45 cm ) tall. In the wild, Maras live in dry, grassy areas in South America. With their long, thin legs and tall ears they seem much like a hare, but the Maras are actually a subfamily of the guinea pig. They can make jumps of 2 meters.
Though the family is already out in their habitat for visitors to enjoy, the babies are very shy and stay close to mom, who often has them safely snuggled together in their underground nest. They come out to nurse and play and end up getting nuzzled by the other adults.
Photo Credit: Artis Royal Zoo