Description[ edit ] The southern viscacha has yellowish-grey upperparts, paler underparts, and a black-tipped, bushy tail. The body fur is long and soft, while that on the tail is coarse. The long, fur-covered ears have a white fringe and both the short front legs and longer hind legs have four digits on the feet. The soles of the feet have fleshy pads called "pallipes" and they can move about with agility over rocky surfaces. It lives among rocks and around crags where the vegetation is sparse.
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Taxonomy[ edit ] The number of species of mountain viscachas was considered to be three by most authors: L. However, taxonomy usually differs by authors e. The distribution is shown to be the Andes mountains in Peru at elevations between 3, and 5, m. The southern viscacha occurs in southern Peru, southern and western Bolivia, northern Chile, and western Argentina. They occur between 2, and 5, m above sea level. Little is known about L. Habitat and ecology[ edit ] L.
It is an herbivorous species and is found near water that offers better vegetation than the drier regions within its habitat. It is restricted to sparsely vegetated areas from 2, to 5, m above sea level. This herbivorous species is specialized and restricted to rocky habitats where it colonizes rock crevices and also associates with available habitat that is patchy.
Habitat use both on and away from the cliffs appears to be driven by predator avoidance. They can probably more easily escape terrestrial predators on a steep slope. They rarely venture away from rocks which provide a means for escape from both aerial and terrestrial predators. Its tail is bushy and can range up to about one-third of the length of its body. The fore limbs are relatively short, while the contrastingly long and muscular hind limbs enable it to run and jump with ease.
However, the number of digits on the hind feet is reduced to four apparent in chinchillas, as well. The color of its fur varies seasonally and with age, but generally the upper parts are grey to brown, with tints of cream and black, while the underparts are pale yellow or tan. Behavior[ edit ] L. It leaps among rocks and performs a series of whistles and trills associated with warning.
Colonial structures are composed of small family units of two to five individuals in a subdivided colony that can be as large as 75 animals. It spends the day on perches, grooming and sunning. It is adept at moving over rocky surfaces and does not hibernate.
Reproduction[ edit ] In L. The gestation period for the female is days, and the usual litter size is one. It is viviparous and lactation lasts about eight weeks. In Peru, mating takes place from October through November. Both female and male sexual maturities are reached after one year and weaning has been found to occur after 59 days. After a gestation of — days, a female gives birth to a single, precocious young.
The young are born fully furred, with their eyes open, and are able to eat solid food on their first day of life.
Lagidium viscacia somuncurensis