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Resting Mara

Resting Mara
Photo Information
Copyright: Andy Cole (flagman) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 351 W: 44 N: 607] (2408)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-08-14
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon EOS 300D, Canon 70-200 f/4L, Hoya Super HMC Pro1 67mm Sky1B
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/1250 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: A day at Whipsnade [II]
Theme(s): Zoo animals [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2005-09-28 10:25
Viewed: 6528
Points: 26
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
One of the many Mara (Dolichotis patagonum) that roam free at Whipsnade Wild Animal Park, taking a rest. You can regularly hear them calling to each other, a very low grumble more likely to be expected from a pig!

Conditions: Sunny, late afternoon, handheld.

General info about the Mara, from the BBC website:

Description:A rodent which looks a bit like a small deer with long ears, and which lives on the plains and scrubland of Argentina. Males and females form long-term pair bonds, but the young form creches.

Life span: up to 15 years.

Statistics:50-75cm long with a 4.5cm tail and weighing 8-9kg.

Physical Description:An animal looking like a cross between a rabbit and a small deer, with short brown fur, a dark rump and white belly. There is a distinctive white fringe around the base of the rump. The muzzle is quite broad and deep, and the ears and eyes quite large. The legs are relatively long and thin.

Distribution:Central and Southern Argentina.

Habitat:Open scrub desert and grassland.

Diet:Short grasses and herbs.

Behaviour:Maras live most of the year in pairs, and defend a home range of about 40 hectares and are rarely seen in larger aggregations except around water. In the breeding season about 15 pairs congregate at a communal den, dug by the females, although the individuals are still wary of each other and try to avoid meeting.

Reproduction:Females give birth to 1-3 young after a gestation of 90 days. Within a day the pups start grazing and wandering from the burrow, but they stay near it for up to 4 months, with the mother returning to nurse them once or twice a day. All the pups will greet a returning mother, but she will sniff out her own young and only suckle those, whilst the male stands guard, keeping other returning pairs at bay. At larger dens there is often one pair standing guard at all times.

TAZ, dew77, thistle, AgnesL, vhemmati, Shoot_Score has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2005-09-28 10:35]

Thanks for showing a whole-bodied mara. What an interesting-looking animal. He looks very content on the deep grass basking in the sun. Shar details and good light. Great POV. Well done and TFS. : )

Nice shot of this quirky animal. As has been said, good to see all of him.

  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2005-09-28 11:44]

What an interesting animal that you have well captured ! I didn't know before this species. He seems happy to have a sunbath ;-) Thanks for sharing Andy.

This is a really nice shot! I like how it looks so peaceful resting on the grass. the Mara also goes by another common name know as the Patagonian Cavy. Paul :)

Excellent shot, Andy
Very good light, great colour, very nice background.

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2005-09-29 3:26]

Hello Andy!
Wonderful capture.Lighting,sharpness,details,POV,framing,DOF,eye contact and composition are excellent.TFS...:-)

Beautifull shot Andy, well framed and a nice out of focus background to give depth to the image. Colours and saturation are very good. Great photo!

Hi Andy!
I don't have enough time to write a decent comment ;) but the big smiley is, no doubt, well deserved here :)

//Superb details, superb lighting, superb framing ---> superb shot//

  • Great 
  • sAner Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1455 W: 74 N: 1426] (4750)
  • [2005-10-02 9:36]

Hi Andy,

Great shot my friend! From the thumbnail I thought the catchlight was missing, but I see it's there! :) I have told you before and I will say it again; your photos have a very crystal clear touch. You must have a steady hand as you didn't use tripod. Composition is great and exposure is spot on. No nits! TFS!


Lovely capture, Andy. I am just back from my vacation and have lots of photos to check out and edit. I will supply a proper critique later my friend.

Wonderful picture, with beautiful light and beautiful color. Nice PoV, nice framing, and I love the peaceful atmosphere. You've done great job with this strange animal. Well done. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  • Great 
  • AgnesL (46)
  • [2006-07-01 18:46]

Interesting animal well captured by you. I like the clarity of the picture, the selective dof, and your useful description of the animal. Cheers! AgnesL


Very interesting animal and information, nicely captured with good details and DOF.



Andy, These cavies must feel like they are - forgive the pun - in pig heaven. That luscious green (British) grass beats the dry pampas I would say... Webbed feet might become an asset, not?

Anyway Andy I love the clarity of this shot and the very nice way your "Mara at rest" jumps out of the photo. Great shot.

AND most important to me, I learned something about a creature I had never heard about before. Did a wee more diggin' and found god stuff on

Thanx for sharing, eh! Jay

PS We don't have rodents like that here! Just the usual fare
< rats, rabbits etc. and my personal favorites the squirly squirrels! E.g. http://www.treknature.com/gallery/North_America/Canada/photo83940.htm ; "Whiskers" with a bump. >

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