Agouti Facts

Agouti Facts
Agouti is a type of rodent. There are 11 species of agouti. They can be found in the Central and South America. Agouti lives in tropical rainforests, scrublands, savannas, grasslands and evergreen lowland forests. It can be often spotted near the water. Agouti is well known by its specific two-colored type of hair which is often used to describe the color of the coat of other mammals. Certain species of agouti, such as Mexican agouti, are critically endangered due to habitat loss.
Interesting Agouti Facts:
Agouti is a small rodent. It can reach 2 feet in length and 8.8 pounds of weight. Tail can be 0.4 to 1.4 inches long.
Agouti looks like a close relative of guinea pig. It has slender body covered with two-colored, glossy fur.
Color of the fur can vary from orange, brown to black. Underside of the coat is white to yellowish in color.
Agouti has longer hair on the rear end of the body. When animal is alarmed or showing aggression, hair on the hindquarters is raised up. With upright hair, agouti looks bigger.
Agoutis are equipped with sharp incisors that are able to crack the shell of Brazilian nut. Special layer of enamel provides extra strength that is required for breaking the hard shells.
Brazilian nuts are one of agouti's favorite treats. Besides them, agouti eats fallen fruit, succulent plants and crabs. Agouti can recognize the sound when fruit is falling to the ground.
Agouti sometimes acts like a gardener of forests. It stores the nuts and seeds in the ground for later meals. Whenever agouti forgets about them, nuts and seeds grow into new plant.
Agouti sits on its hind legs while eating. It holds the food by its front feet.
Agouti is nocturnal animal. If it is disrupted by humans, it can change its daily routine.
Agouti takes a rest and hides from predators in the burrows or hollow trees.
Main predators of agouti are coatimundis, jaguars, and ocelots. Agouti has excellent sense of smell which is used to detect predators.
Agouti lives in family groups composed of mating couple and their offspring. In the case of a danger, agouti will rise up the hair on its hind legs and produce alarm call to inform other members of the group.
Agoutis are monogamous creatures (one couple mate for a lifetime). They mate during the whole year, but the greatest number of babies is born when the food is abundant (during March and July).
Pregnancy in females lasts 3 months and ends usually with two babies. Young agoutis are well developed. They look like miniature versions of their parents. Youngsters will stay with their parents until the next litter.
Average lifespan of agouti is 6 years in the wild and up to 20 years in captivity.

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