Red-Rumped Agouti

Tropical Rainforest

Location

In the Zoo
Size
Male
Female
Height:
Length:
19 -22 inches
20-25 inches
Weight
6.6 -10 pounds
8-13 pounds
Maturity:
7 years
6 months

Geographic Range

Found in French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago also found in parts of Venezuela, Columbia and Brazil.

Scientific Information

Scientific Name:
Dasyprocta leporina
Class:
Mammalia
Order:
Rodentia
Family:
Dasyproctidae
Genus:
Dasyprocta

Lifestyle and Lifespan

Diet:
Herbivorous
Activity Time Frame:
Crepuscular
Interactivity:
Solitary
Sexual Dimorphism:
Yes
Gestation:
3-4 months
Lifespan in the Wild:
8-12 years
Lifespan in Captivity:
15-20 years

Conservation

Status:
Least Concerned
Threats:
Habitat Loss

Characteristics

Members of the rodent family, agoutis look like a guinea pig only larger! They have coarse glossy fur that is reddish brown.

Species Specifics

There are 11 different species of agouti. These animals are found in tropical parts of the New World. Do not confuse agouti and pacas. They are relatives but are in different family groups. Agoutis scientific name “Dasyprocta” means “hairy rump.” Agoutis are longer and have a thinner frame, and only weigh 1/3 of a paca.

Physical Characteristics

Agouti are prey and they are considered saltatorial (adapted to high jumps up to 6 feet), this allows them to be extremely swift and conceal themselves quickly if they suspect danger.

Ecology

Habitat

Forested areas also thick brush, savannahs or agricultural areas with water access.

Distribution

Habitats: Found mostly in the Eastern United States, Box Turtles occur as far north as Michigan and Maine, South to Florida, and as far West as Texas and Kansas. Found rarely above 1,000 feet in elevation, preferring low land habitats where water collects. Commonly associated with deciduous forests having high leaf litter and moisture these turtles are often located near rivers, streams, ponds, lakes and other bodies of fresh water, however, they are not good swimmers.

Diet

When food is abundant, agoutis will bury Brazil nuts, and dig them up later. Other seeds, fruits, roots and leaves make up the rest of their diet.

Ecological Web

These animals are important seed disperses.

Activity and Behavior

Activity Pattern

These high jumping animals will forage mostly durring the day to accumulate food resources for the night.

Behavior

Agoutis have a plethora of sounds, grunts, squeals, or even hind foot stamping to communicate distress or alarm. Like many prey animals they are always on alert to avoid danger. Marking their home range with chemical signals is very important.

Social Behavior

Usually solitary and territorial agoutis occasionally are seen in small groups especially around high food sources.

Reproductive Behavior

Monogamous, a male and female will bond permanently and share a territoy. Although sleeping and foraging is done separately.

Offspring

1-3

Conservation

Status

Three-Toed Box Turtles are not considered endangered at the national level in the United States, Canada or Mexico, although several U.S. states, including Michigan, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Connecticut, list T. carolina as a species of special concern. It is considered endangered in Maine. IUCN: VulnerableCITES: Appendix II

Historical

Agoutis are important in the diets of several carnivorous animals like ocelot, pumas and even large snakes.

Current Threats

Habitat Loss

Our Role

Exhibit and educate

No items found.

How You Can Help

Please be aware of the pets you choose to buy. Never get a pet that has been taken from the wild and never return a pet to the wild. Be aware of pesticide applications so as to not poison native animals that benefit your ecosystem. Finally, be conscious of your trash and waste so as to not attract unwanted animals such as ravens.

Fascinating Facts

Agouti are the only mammal that can open the hard shell of a Brazil nut, without a tool.

Agoutis can swim.

Of all the Gerrhosaururidae lizards (Plated lizards) they are the most armored.

References

https://sta.uwi.edu/fst/lifesciences/documents/Dasyprocta_leporina.pdf

https://nationalzoo.si.edu/animals/red-rumped-agouti

http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Dasyproctidae/

https://pethelpful.com/exotic-pets/Rodents-of-South-America-The-Agouti-and-the-Paca

http://www.sfzoodocents.org/notebook/FactSheets/MAMMALIA/RodentiaLagomorphs/AgoutiRedRumped.pdf