Patagonian cavy in exhibit

Patagonian Cavy

Scientific Name

Dolichotis patagonum






Central and southern Argentina


Grasslands and brushlands

Estimated Wild Population

IUCN Conservation Status: Lower Risk - Near Threatened IUCN Conservation Status: Lower Risk - Near Threatened

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Physical Description

Patagonian cavys are about the size of a small dog and have long rear legs akin to kangaroos. They are brown with a white underside and hindquarters marked with a white patch. While cavys mostly travel in pairs, large groups form when grasses and herbs are plentiful. These monogamous cavys breed a few times each year, producing litters of up to three individuals. Offspring are well-developed at birth and are reared from a communal den.

Interesting Fact 1

Patagonian cavies travel in mated pairs, with males traveling behind females to ward off rivals and predators.

Interesting Fact 2

They communicate through a variety of sounds, ranging from grunts to screams.

Interesting Fact 3

They use their long rear legs to hop like hares or gallop like horses.

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