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Brazilian agouti (Dasyprocta leporina)

Brazilian agouti
Brazilian agouti

Personal information
Two Brazilian agoutis were born in January 2010 and arrived at the Zoo in December of 2010. The brothers came to us from the Minnesota Zoo.

Status in the Wild
International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List status: Least concern.

Habitat
Rainforests or other forests of Northern Brazil.  It also has been found in Venezuela, Guyana, French Guiana and has been introduced to the Lesser Antilles.

Diet
This rodent is an herbivore and consumes mainly fallen fruits and nuts in its habitat.

  • In captivity, these rodents can live to their mid- to late-teens.
  • Agoutis are diurnal, but may be active at night if the moon is bright or there is human disturbance.
  • They communicate with each other much like rabbits, by stamping their hind feet as a warning. Other communication comes in forms of grunts or squeals.
  • They walk, trot or gallop on their toes, and can jump up more than six feet from a standing position.
  • Newborn agoutis are fully furred with eyes open and can run within one hour of birth.