- Agouti serves as the collective term for several species of rodents. All species of this animal remain endemic to a specific range of the Northern Hemisphere.
- Several of the varieties of this animal have also been introduced into portions of the West Indies. There it remains considered an invasive species.
- Furthermore, genetically, scientists consider it to be related to the smaller guinea pig.
- Most Agouti breed year round, and typically produce 2-4 offspring per litter. Finally, an average lifespan commonly measures about 20 years.
Agouti Physical Description
The Agouti grows rather large for a rodent, with mature adults attaining lengths of as much as about 24 in (60 cm). The tail also grows to varied lengths, either being very short or non-existent.
In addition, its weight sometimes reaches as much as 8.8 lb (4 kg). The different species also present a slight variation in color patterns.
However, the majority of Agouti species are predominantly light or dark brown on the back. Also, the underside typically shows an off-white color.
Uniquely, the fur often possesses a glossy appearance. The animal also possesses five toes on its front feet, but only three on the hind feet.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Class: Mammalia
- Order: Rodentia
- Family: Dasyproctidae
- Genus: dasyprocta
Agouti Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Firstly, the range of the Agouti includes Middle America, the southern Lesser Antilles, and the northern and central portions of South America.
The various species of this rodent display different patterns of activity. Also, some appear principally nocturnal, while others actually seem to be diurnal in behavior.
In the wild, the Agouti typically acts rather shy around humans. It also remains well known for its great speed, often outrunning hunting dogs, and also seems to be an excellent swimmer.
When feeding, it also often sits erect, much like a squirrel. It primarily feeds on leaves, roots, and fruit. It most commonly inhabits forest areas but may also be found in rainforests and savannas as well.
Finally, when at rest, individuals prefer to reside in burrows or hollow tree trunks.