Fun Agouti Facts For Kids

Divya Raghav
Feb 07, 2023 By Divya Raghav
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Natalie Rayworth
One of the best agouti facts is that they're the only animal that can crack open the hard outer shell of a Brazil Nut
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.9 Min

Agoutis, are also known in Spanish as aguti. They are native to Central America, North and Central South America.

The range of this species is also in very high percentage throughout Brazil. Young agoutis are cute and chubby. Their diet depends on what they can find and can be different for each subspecies.

Usually, they live on fruit, nuts (specially Brazil nuts), seeds, flowers and fallen fruits from trees. Their food schedule is very healthy, and they generally eat in packs of up to 100.

They look sort of like pigs and are considered to be relatives of the agouti rat. Agoutis have brown, white, and yellowish fur on their body with hind feet. They usually use their paws for eating, which is quite interesting and cute indeed.

They reproduce mostly in May and October, and the average litter size is two to four. They are listed in the conservation category of Least Concern.

If you liked reading these facts, you can also check facts on the pygmy slow loris or mangabey.

Agouti Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an agouti?

The agouti animal belongs to the family of Rodentia. This rodent is differentiated by its single pair of continuously growing incisors on both its upper and lower jaws.

Mexican agoutis are also part of the Dasyproctidae family species of rodent. Guinea pigs can be considered an agouti relative because they look quite similar, but they are a little larger and have longer legs. They are medium-sized mammals that range from Mexico to South America.

What class of animal does an agouti belong to?

Agouti Dasyprocta belongs to the mammal class. Agouti Dasyprocta punctata is a Central American agouti from the same species.

How many agoutis are there in the world?

An exact count is currently not available, which is good news since they are also considered to be of the Least Concern.

Where does an agouti live?

They are very chubby and active and usually live in lowland and montane tropical rainforests. Many of them can also be spotted in drier environments like a savanna or scrublands. This species can also be found in farms and gardens where there is a proper grassy area.

What is an agouti's habitat?

Agouti (Dasyprocta) and agouti (Dasyprocta punctata) are generally spotted in forest and wooded areas. Central and South America have a large number of agoutis.

Their habitat usually depends on, and can differ, according to the species itself, but rainforests, savannas, and cultivated fields tend to be their most popular habitats. The range of agoutis is not much, but they can be found in different random countries according to their living nature.

Who do agoutis live with?

They usually prefer to live in their own packs. They generally gather in groups of up to 100 to feed.

How long does an agouti live?

Dasyprocta punctata (Central American agouti) and its species have a general life span of 20 years. They live in the forest areas with other wild animals and their longevity depends on their immune system, whether it's properly working in reaction with colostrum and milk from the mother. Another factor is the enzyme growth of the stomach.

How do they reproduce?

Agoutis have a gestation period of three months and the average litter size is two to four. May and October are common months when some species will give birth to two litters. The young are born into burrows lined with leaves, roots, and hair. They are well developed at birth and may be up and eating within an hour.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of agoutis is currently set as the Least Concern. The population is unknown and they have become locally extinct in some areas due to poaching. In fact, they fall under the list of Vulnerable in Argentina.

Agouti Fun Facts

What do agoutis look like?

They look like a pig, with comparatively smaller legs, with brown-yellowish fur and short tails. The young native American agoutis are very smart and intelligent. They are very active usually in the daytime. They are basically similar to agouti rats and agouti mouse, in fact, agouti mice may be considered as relatives.

Agoutis are very versatile small creatures

How cute are they?

Cuteness is what they are best at. They are a charming and chubby species with white-yellowish fur and cute feet (or paws).

Agoutis are very appealing and look like tiny pigs. They are a very adorable creature of the order Rodentia family, found only in Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina, and native to Middle America. Some agoutis have olive black fur with no tail, and sometimes you can also find their ears are pink from the backsides.

How do they communicate?

Posturing is the way they commonly communicate with each other. They can also communicate through grunts, squeals, and screams.

How big is an agouti?

Agoutis are 15.9-29.9 in (40.5–76 cm) in length, and 23.6 in (60 cm) in height. They are two times bigger than rabbits, as well as being smarter and more active.

How fast can an agouti run?

Agoutis can run very quickly. More surprisingly, this rodent can jump up to 6 ft (1.8 m).

How much does an agouti weigh?

The weight of an agouti is different for each subspecies, but the average weight of an agouti is 5.3-13.2 lb (2.4-6 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The females and males of this species are not given different names.

What would you call a baby agouti?

A baby agouti doesn't have any specific name.

What do they eat?

Agoutis fall under the category of herbivores. They have this very interesting habit of eating by using their hind legs.

An agoutis diet consists of lots of small foods like fruit, seeds and nuts. Some of the species also depend on fungi, flowers, leaves, and insects.

Babies usually eat food that has fallen right off the ground, although it's a similar diet to the adults, consisting of fruit, seeds, and nuts. From childhood, they get training to eat with their feet.

They are also the only mammals capable of cracking the uber-tough Brazil nut. Historically they have a symbiotic relationship with the tree, agoutis will bury extra seeds after eating their food which later bud and grow into trees themselves.

Are they aggressive?

Agoutis tend to stay within forest environments, because they can stay and feed in groups. They are aggressive to some extent.

Agoutis have long hair on the rear end of their body, which they usually use for showing their aggressions. When the animal is nervous or is showing aggression, its fur is raised and spiky on the hindquarters. They also have sharp incisors, which they use to crack the Brazil nut.

Would they make a good pet?

It depends on the person, actually. Offspring of rodents can be kept as a pet. Agoutis generally weigh up to 9 lb (4 kg). Adult agoutis can sometimes be kept as exotic pets, but not as often. The offspring of this species can be a better option for nurture.

Did you know...

The term 'agouti' is also used to describe hair on rodents or other animals with alternating bands of dark and light colors (referred to as agouti color). The Brazil nut is so very tough that all animals find it very hard to crack.

This American rodent is the only animal that can crack the harder outer shell of Brazil nut and open it.

Another amazing fact is that they are good swimmers, but they cannot dive. It is also possible to eat agouti, along with other rodents, but it is not an immensely popular dish as some people don't like the taste.

Where do agoutis get their name from?

Agoutis get their name from the Spanish naturalist Félix de Azara. They are cute and active at the same time.

They also generally hide when they think that there may be a possibility of danger around them. Agoutis are animals that are usually active during the daytime and yet photography and documentary sessions may be hard because they are more the timid creatures in the wild. The young ones are charming and pudgy.

How do agoutis eat?

Agoutis fall into the category of herbivore. It is very entertaining to watch them eat their food because they sit back on their hind legs and hold their food using their feet and gently but swiftly nibble away.

Their food is loaded with fallen fruits, seeds, nuts, leaves and roots. Sometimes they even climb trees to eat some green fruit. They also have a habit of eating their food in groups of up to 100 agoutis.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including field vole, or chinese hamster.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our Agouti coloring pages.

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Written by Divya Raghav

Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Accounting and Finance, Master of Business Administration

Divya Raghav picture

Divya RaghavBachelor of Commerce specializing in Accounting and Finance, Master of Business Administration

With a diverse range of experience in finance, administration, and operations, Divya is a diligent worker known for her attention to detail. Born and raised in Bangalore, she completed her Bachelor's in Commerce from Christ University and is now pursuing an MBA at Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Bangalore. Along with her professional pursuits, Divya has a passion for baking, dancing, and writing content. She is also an avid animal lover who dedicates her time to volunteering for animal welfare causes.

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