Tuesday, December 13, 2011
ABC Wednesday: V is for Viscacha
This is a Plains Viscacha (Lagostomus maximus), one of five Viscacha species. They are rodents, native to South America - the Plains Viscacha lives in the Pampas of Argentinia and Paraguay, the other species in the Andes.
Viscachas are closely related to chinchillas, but they are much larger, only slightly smaller than a hare and weighing up to 9 kilos.
Planis Viscachas build burrows they hide in during the day and they go foraging at night. They live in groups of mostly females with their offspring, with few adult males who keep watch over the group. A litter of two babies is normal, but there can be up to four.
Here's a video of the incredibly agile Southern Viscacha. Note the long eyelashes they have in common with chinchillas, those protect the animal's eyes from wind and sand and allow it to keep its eyes as open as possible (although it doesn't look that way).
My Viscacha photos were taken at Wilhelma, Stuttgart.
More Vs at ABC Wednesday
Sources and further reading: