The Agouti is a rodent related to the much larger Capybara and much smaller Guinea Pig. Like them, it is native to Latin America.
A ground-dwelling, fast-running rodent, it has characteristic shiny fur. Agoutis feed mainly on fallen fruit, performing a useful
role in dispersing the seeds. Most pair for life. There are several species. Shown above is one of the more common, the CENTRAL AMERICAN AGOUTI,
Dasyprocta punctata, which ranges from southern Mexico to northern Argentina.
AZARA'S AGOUTI, Dasyprocta azarae, above, is native to southern Brazil, Paraguay and northern Argentina.
It leads a solitary life, meeting only to mate; the young leave the burrows as soon as they can fend for themselves.
Agoutis, with exceptionally sharp teeth and strong jaws, are said to be able to open Brazil nuts - one of the few
mammals able to do so. They also bury food for later, helping propagation.