Scientific names are given for the sole purpose of
researching the animals on the World Wide Web.
Scientific names will narrow search patterns a great
deal and make the research much easier.
All information gathered for this section is from:
Redford, Kent H. and Eisenberg, John F., Mammals of
the Neotropics, The Southern Cone, Volume 2, The
University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London,
Location of species can be found on
Patagonian map with key.
Information on some of Patagonia's Wildlife:
(Lestodelphys halli - scientific name) The Patagonian
opossum has very long canine teeth, short ears, feet
with claws, a tail which is shorter than the head and
body, and is gray brown. The fur of the opossum is
thick and very soft. The male opossum has orange fur
on the front of the throat. The Patagonian opossum
occurs farther south than any other marsuipial. Very little is known
about this rare animal; however, its long canine teeth and claws indicate that it
is a carnivore.
Larger Hairy Armadillo
(Chaetophractus villosus - scientific name) The
larger hairy armadillo is found throughout western
Patagonia. This is the largest species of armadillo.
It has a large head shield and short ears. It is dark-colored with long black hair.
(Orcinus orca - scientific name) The killer whale is
common on the coasts of Patagonia. The killer whale
is the largest of the dolphins, with black on the
back, white on the bottom while. Some have a white
saddle on the back. Additionally, the killer whales
eat fish , seals, sea lions, birds, turtles and
Killer whales grow to 30 feet long with a six foot
dorsal fin for males, and 25 feet long with a three
foot curved dorsal fin for females. They are found
all over the world.
South American Fox
(Dusicyon clupaeus - scientific name) The South
American Fox is variable in color from orange to
brown. They are found throughout Patagonia. It is the
largest of the South American Foxes. This fox lives
in many different habitats from arid or semiarid to
dense subantarctic forests of the Patagonian Andes.
This fox is nocturnal and feeds on hares, sheep,
small mammals, lizards, and small birds. They have
also been known to eat plant material such as fruit.
(Felis geoffroyi - scientific name) This is a small
spotted cat found throughout Patagonia. It is gray
to reddish-brown with black spots. It is similar in
size to a large domestic cat. Geoffroy's cat is found
all the way to the most southern areas of Patagonia.
It is a nocturnal hunter that eats birds and small
rodents. This cat prefers open savannas, brushy
areas, marshes and even open woodland. Unfortunately,
this cat is a prime target of the skin trade in
(Puma concolor - scientific name) This is a very large
cat with a single-colored coat. There are many color
phases, reddish, dark brown, gray and tawny. It also
has a long tail. The Puma is found throughout
Patagonia all the way to Tierra del Fuego. In
Patagonia, Pumas eat hares and guanacos. They hunt
from elevated, concealed positions and kill prey with
a bite to the throat. Hares are the most frequent
prey, guanacos are their second most favorite food.
Southern Sea Lion
(Otaria byronia - scientific name) The southern sea
lion is a very large marine mammal and is found
throughout the Patagonian coastal areas. Males can
grow to almost eleven feet long and weight 750
pounds. The female grows to eight feet and weighs up
to 300 pounds. The males also have a mane which is
light colored while the body is dark brown to orange.
Females are dark to light brown and sea lion pups are
black in color. These creatures feed on small bottom
fish, squid and seabirds.
The southern sea lion was a victim of the fur trade
and its numbers declined due to overkill by hunters.
The range of the sea lion has declined due to
pressures of commercial harvesting and killing by
Southern Elephant Seal
(Mirounga leonina - scientific name) The southern
elephant seal is an extremely large marine mammal and
is found in southern Argentina and along the
Argentine Patagonian coast. They grow to almost 9000
pounds and are up to 20 feet long. Females grow to 11
feet long and weigh up to 4,300 pounds. Adults are
dark gray with shades of brown. The numbers of this
animal have decreased due to hunting. The
northernmost breeding population is in Chubut
province, Argentina. It is believed that the southern
elephant seal is migratory. During the 19th century,
the southern elephant seal was nearly extinct due to
hunting for its oil; however, the numbers have been
(Lama guanicoe - scientific name) The guanaco is found
throughout Patagonia. It has a slender neck and long
legs. The guanaco has pointed ears, a head like a
camel, and long canines. The color of a guanaco is
reddish brown with a gray head and white undersides.
The guanaco is larger than a vicuna. The range of the
guanaco today is much less than in earlier times.
Hunting, habitat destruction are the major reasons
for the declining numbers. A band of guanacos can be
up to 25 individuals in southern Argentina.
(Dolichotis patagonum - scientific name) This is a
larger member of the rodent family. The Mara is a
harelike animal that has a gray color with a black
area on the rear quarters. The sides of the animal
are lighter with a orange-colored belly. They have a
short tails. It is found throughout Patagonia. In
northern Argentina, the Mara is found in forests and
flats. They raise their young in burrows. In southern
Argentina, the Mara prefers open brushy areas with
sandy soil. The Mara is a fast runner with speeds up
to 50 miles per hour.