Red-Rumped Agouti

Dasyprocta punctata

Animal Class: Mammals

Length: Up to 2 feet

Weight: Up to 8.8 pounds

Lifespan: Up to 17 years

Diet: Eat mostly fruit , including seeds

Habitat: Found in the forested and wooded areas in Central and South America.

Description: Agoutis have coarse hair covered with an oily substance that acts like a raincoat. The hair is longest on its rump. The agouti has five toes on its front feet and three on the hind feet. It walks on its toes, not flat-footed like many rodents, giving the agouti a dainty look. Although it is hard to see it, the agouti does have a tail: it is very small, looking like a dark jelly bean stuck on the animal’s rump.

Just like other rodents, agoutis have teeth designed to gnaw on very hard items, with one pair of sharp incisors in the front of the mouth. These are the teeth they use to chew through tough items like nutshells. The layers of enamel on their teeth are twisted in a way that makes them much stronger. Brazil nuts may be hard for us to crack, but they pose no problem for agoutis. The sharp incisors keep growing throughout their lifetime, ensuring that they always have nut-cracking tools at the ready! Agoutis use their molars to grind food items.

Our Animals: Arnie and Darlene