World Cup: Argentina’s Patagonian Mara (Dolichotis patagonum)
To celebrate the World Cup, I’m drawing and writing about one mammal from each of the 32 countries that are participating. Those 32 countries are divided into eight groups, and today we continue meeting Group B with a visit to Argentina. The Patagonian mara is a long-legged rodent that lives only in Argentina, and it’s one of only a handful of monogamous mammals. (Do biologists count humans as monogamous mammals?)
Argentina’s soccer players may or may not be monogamous, but they are allowed to have sex during the World Cup (not during the actual games—that should go without saying), which is for some (I think misogynistic) reason controversial. (My favorite piece of information from the article linked above is that Argentina’s coach in the 1986 World Cup was a former gynecologist.) Most likely, everybody will be letting their players have sex and eat steak from grass-fed pampas cattle during tournaments now that Argentina is one of only two teams in the World Cup that won both of its first two matches, the other being the Netherlands, and before you ask, I do not know what Holland’s sex policy is, but I do know that the Dutch players are no longer allowed to use Twitter. Unless something truly nutty happens, Argentina will be continuing on to the Group of 16 after playing Greece on Tuesday.