The Patagonian Cavy (Dolechotis Patagonum) is a large member of the rodent family. It can reach a length of over 30 inches and weigh over 30 pounds. These long legged animals are mainly brown or gray in color and have long claws that they use for digging. Because of their long legs, they can reach speeds of over 30 miles per hour when running. Found mainly in the grasslands of Patagonia, they rely on their speed to escape predators. Patagonian Cavies feed on grasses and other vegetation.
Preferring to nest in burrows, the Patagonian Cavy is a semi-colonial creature that lives in groups of up to 30 pairs. Males and females bond for life and will often breed up to 3 times a year. Young Cavies are born with their eyes open and are able to walk within minutes of birth. The female will typically nurse the young for up to 3 months. During this time, the parents will become territorial and drive other Cavies away. These unique creatures have several methods of locomotion that include walking, hopping, galloping and even bouncing on all four feet.