The Dasyproctidae family includes four genera, two of which – paca and agouti – are widespread and well known. Outwardly, they resemble both large short-eared rabbits and fossil forest ancestors of the horse. They feed on fruits and nuts falling from trees, as well as leaves and roots. These are predominantly forest animals that live in tropical America.
Agouti, or golden hare (Dasyprocta aguti) , is a member of the family Dasyproctidae ( Aguti) , which is closely related to Caviidae. It is found in large areas of South America from Mexico to Peru, including Brazil and Venezuela, to the border of evergreen vegetation in Argentina. The body reaches a length of 50 cm. The skin is light, with a golden sheen. Agouti lives in forests growing in river valleys, as well as in dry areas in the interior of the mainland. Able to climb a leaning tree for fruits. He knows how to swim, jumps excellently (jumping 6 meters from a place). It hides in the hollows of trunks and stumps, in holes under the roots or in the holes of other animals. Lives in pairs or small flocks.
Agouti (Dasyprocta aguti) In some places the agouti are even more numerous than the paka, from which the agouti is distinguished by a smaller and more slender body. The long hind legs have only 3 toes. The tail is almost invisible.
The color is one-color: golden brown or reddish. In some places in the Amazon, agouti are also called kutia.
Everyone who has seen agouti notes its rapid excitability. Agouti swims well, but does not dive. It often stays in the forest near water. One species even lives in mangroves. It feeds on agouti leaves, fallen fruits and nuts. Having found the fruit, the animal brings it to the mouth with its front paws. The female, after forty days of pregnancy, brings two fully developed and sighted cubs. Just like the paka, agouti are the coveted prey of hunters. Despite its extreme fearfulness, the animal lives well in zoos. There are about 20 closely related forms in the agouti genus.