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Brazilian Agouti


The Brazilian Agouti, Dasyprocta leporina, is a South American agouti species from the Dasyproctidae family.

It is found in Venezuela, Guyana, French Guiana and Brazil.

It has also been introduced to the Lesser Antilles. In Brazil the name for this rodent is "cutia" .

The Brazilian Agouti is also called the "red-rumped", "orange-rumped", or the "golden-rumped" agouti. It lives in a wide varietiy of habitats with water, dense plant growth, which may include gardens and on crop fields. It is often found in the rainforests, or other forests of Brazil and northward. They usually have territories of about 30000m2 to 85000m2.

Description

Brazilian Agoutis weigh about 3 to 6 kilograms or 6 pounds to 13 pounds. It is about 19 in to 25 in long. In this species the females are larger than males but otherwise look similar. They are brownish with darker spots on the upper body. The fur becomes more orange as it goes past (going down) the middle area of the animal. The ears are somewhat square in shape. The front feet have 4 toes and the back have 3. They can be distinguished from other agoutis by their distinct coloring.

These animals have no distinct breeding season, and females generally have about 1 to 3 young. The Brazilian Agoutis gestation period is 104 to 120 days. On average, it takes 20 weeks for the young to be weaned. They live in pairs or family groups of the parents and little ones. They need large areas for food, breeding, and territory. It is hard to keep the animal in captivity for that reason. Most animals in the Dasyproctidae family mate once or twice, and this is presumed to be true for this species as well. This species lives 15-20 yrs in captivity.

References

John F. Eisenberg and Kent H. Redford, 2000. Mammals of Neotropics: Ecuador, Bolivia and Brazil.

Bricklin, R. and P. Myers. 2004. "Dasyprocta leporina" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed December 12, 2006 at [*]

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Brazilian Agouti


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