Any of several species (genus Dasyprocta) of rabbit-sized rodents that occur in the American tropics (southern Mexico to northern South America). Agoutis are 16–24 in. (40–60 cm) long and have a long body, small ears, either a vestigial tail or none at all, and slender feet with long, hooflike claws. Their wiry fur is reddish brown to blackish, with individual hairs banded in what is called the agouti pattern. Agoutis generally live in forests and eat roots, leaves, and fruit.
Agouti (Dasyprocta).—Warren Garst/Tom Stack & Associates
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