Patagonian cavy and young

Patagonian cavy and young

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Credit: DAVID AUBREY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Patagonian cavy (Dolichotis patagonum) with young. Between one and three young are born after a three month gestation, and a female typically breeds two or three times a year. Cavies have an unusual rearing strategy. Young are left in a communal den, which contains the young of other cavies. The parents intermittently return to the den to feed their young, but they do not tolerate the presence of other cavy parents when doing so. The cavy inhabits the pampas (grasslands) of Argentina, feeding exclusively on grasses and herbs. Recently their numbers have been reduced due to competition from the introduced European hare.

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Keywords: animal, baby, biological, biology, cavy, dolichotis patagonum, duo, fauna, feeding, female, infant, mammal, mara, mother, nature, nursing, pair, rodent, south american, suckling, two, wildlife, young, zoological, zoology

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