Agouti, a rodent found in South and Central America and southern Mexico, often kept as a pet. Its habitat varies from damp lowland forests to dry, elevated hillsides and cultivated areas.
The agouti is 17 to 26 inches (43 to 66 cm) long including a 1- to 4-inch (2.5- to 10-cm) tail. It weighs three to nine pounds (1.4 to 4 kg). The agouti has short ears, a short tail, and slender legs. There are four toes on the forefeet and three on the hindfeet. Each toe has a thick, hooflike claw. The agouti has thick, coarse fur ranging from pale orange and shades of brown to black. The underparts are white, yellow, or buff.
The agouti feeds primarily on fruits and vegetables. It lives in burrows dug along riverbanks or between boulders and roots. After a gestation period of about four months, the female gives birth to a litter of two to four young. South American Indians hunt agoutis for their edible flesh.
Agoutis make up the genera Dasyprocta and Myoprocta of the family Dasyproctidae.