Found in Colombia, Venezuela, Surinam, the Amazon Basin of Peru and northern Brazil.
Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Native )
Head and body length ranges from 415-620 mm. Tail length ranges from 10-35 mm. Fur is coarse and glossy, with the longest and thickest hair located on the posterior part of the back. Fur color ranges from pale orange through several shades of brown to almost black. The underparts are white, yellow or buff colored. The body form is slender, the ears are short, and the hindfoot fas three toes with hooflike claws. Females have four pairs of mammae.
Range mass: 1.300 to 4.000 kg.
Other Physical Features: endothermic ; bilateral symmetry
They are found in forests, thick brush, savannahs and cultivated areas. In Peru, they are confined to the Amazonian region where they are found in all parts of the low selva zone and many parts of the high selva zone. It is found at altitudes of 2000 m or more. Agoutis live in close proximity to water, being found on the banks of all types of streams.
In some areas, they construct burrows among limestone boulders, along river banks or under the roots of trees.
Terrestrial Biomes: savanna or grassland ; forest ; rainforest ; scrub forest
Habitat and Ecology
Diet consists of fruits, vegetables, and various succulent plants.
Primary Diet: herbivore (Frugivore )
Life History and Behavior
Perception Channels: tactile ; chemical
Status: captivity: 18 (high) years.
Lifespan, longevity, and ageing
In Venezuela agoutis breed throughout the year. Females have an average estrous cycle of about 34 days, with gestation lasting around 104 to 120 days. They also experience postpartum estrus. Litters are usually made up of one or two young, sometimes three occurs. Newborns are fully furred, have their eyes open and are able to run in their first hour of life. Females lactate for about twenty weeks.
Range number of offspring: 1.000 to 3.000.
Range gestation period: 104 to 120 days.
Range weaning age: 140 (high) days.
Key Reproductive Features: gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual
Parental Investment: precocial
In some areas, they have declined drastically due to habitat destruction and hunting.
CITES: no special status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
- 1996Lower Risk/least concern(Baillie and Groombridge 1996)
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
Agoutis tame easily and make good pets. They are also extensively hunted for food.
Positive Impacts: food
The Black Agouti, Dasyprocta fuliginosa, is a South American agouti species from the Dasyproctidae family. It is found in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Brazil. The agouti is the only animal that has sharp enough teeth to crack open the tough shell of a brazil nut, something that similar rodents such as the guinea pig cannot do.
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- John F. Eisenberg and Kent H. Redford, 2000. Mammals of Neotropics: Ecuador, Bolivia and Brazil.
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