The Patagonian mara of Argentina may be one of the most appealing animals on the planet.
The world’s fourth largest rodent looks like a mashup of a small deer with the long ears and short tail of a rabbit. Along with being a large rodent — they can grow up to 2.5 feet long — the Patagonian mara has powerful, elongated hind legs that allow the animals to escape would-be predators.
A rodent on the run
The mara can sprint at nearly 25 mph, bouncing six feet into the air on all fours. The species is typically on the go, traveling with its monogamous mate across hundreds of forest acres to dig up (look at those strong claws) and munch on plants and fruits.
But these diurnal animals also like to hop around and socialize in their daily communities. They even enjoy a sunbathing now and again.