Patagonian Cavy at Our Long Island Zoo

Long Island Patagonian Cavy

The Patagonian cavy is the third largest rodent (behind the capybara and the beaver). It has stiff, dense hair that is very fine in texture and grayish-brown fur on its back and white fur on its underbelly. The cavy is two feet long and can stand two feet tall.

With the looks and characteristics of a rabbit and a kangaroo, the Patagonian cavy can walk on all fours, hop, gallop and even bounce on all fours. Its front feet have four toes and its back feet have three toes; all of its toes have a sharp claw at the end of them. When startled, the cavy can leap six feet in the air. It can run at speeds up to 35 miles per hour.

Patagonian cavies communicate with each other by grunting, grumbling and screaming. Native to the pampas of central and southern Argentina, the Patagonian cavy prefers arid grasslands and brushlands that have plenty of open space. The diet consists of grasses and herbs.