RED-RUMPED AGOUTI

agouti

RED-RUMPED AGOUTI

DIET: Herbivore

STATUS IN THE WILD: Least Concern

RANGE: South America

PHYSICAL FEATURES AND CHARACTERISTICS

Red-rumped agoutis have coarse, glossy fur and range in color from a dark yellow to a ruddy brown. They have three toes on their back feet but four on their front. This extra toe allows them to sit on their hind legs and hold on to their food while eating. They are very important to their local ecosystems because they are one of the few animals able to crack open and eat Brazilian nuts. While other species will leave the nuts alone, agoutis will often bury them for later, allowing many of them to grow.

LIFESTYLE AND REPRODUCTION

Females are typically larger than males. A male will court his mate by spraying her with urine repeatedly until she either denies or accepts him. They will then mate for life and will breed throughout the year. The female will have one to four pups per litter that are able to stand and run from predators an hour after birth. They live about fifteen to twenty years.

RANGE

Red-rumped agoutis can be found throughout French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, as well as parts of Venezuela, Colombia and Brazil.

HABITAT

The agouti prefers the thick brush of forests near riverbeds.

DIET

They typically eat shoots, leaves, roots, and nuts and fruits that have fallen to the ground.

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