Mountain Viscacha (Lagidium Viscacia)

October 16, 2013 by  

Mountain Viscacha (Lagidium Viscacia), The southern viscacha is one of three South American rodent species commonly referred to as mountain viscachas (3) (4). In common with its two congeners, the southern viscacha looks remarkably like a long-tailed rabbit (3). Soft dense fur covers its body, from the tips of its elongate ears to the end of its long, curled tail (2) (3). The forelimbs are relatively short, while the contrastingly long and muscular hind-limbs enable it run and jump with ease (3) (4). The colour of its fur varies seasonally and with age, but generally the upperparts are grey to brown, with tints of cream and black, while the under-parts are pale yellow or tan (2).

Also known as
southern mountain viscacha.
Head-body length: 396 mm (2)
1.5 kg (2)

During the day, the southern viscacha emerges from the clefts and crevices it colonises, to forage for food, and bask on rocky perches in the sun (1) (3) (4). It runs and leaps amongst the rocks with incredible agility, and eats a wide variety of plants including grasses, mosses, and lichens (3) (4).

Like all mountain viscachas, the southern viscacha is a gregarious species that forms small to very large colonies, comprising one or more family groups (4) (5). The timing of the breeding season is not documented for this species, but the gestation period has been estimated at 120 to 140 days, with just a single young born at a time. The young is born fully haired with its eyes open, and is normally weaned after eight weeks, and reaches sexual maturity at around a year (3).

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