A mid-sized rodent which lives in pairs and runs on the forest floor looking for fallen fruit during the day.
Up to 17 years in captivity.
41-62cm long with a short tail 1-3.5cm long.
Agoutis are quite large rodents with very short tails and course, uniform coats. They have relatively long legs which allows them to run fast, and only three toes on the hind feet. Their heads are guinea-pig-like with small, rounded ears.
Coiba Island, Panama
Forest and thick scrub, usually near water.
Fruit, nuts and succulent vegetation.
When undisturbed by humans, agoutis are active during the day, scurrying around the forest floor searching for fruit. In areas where they are hunted they often resort to coming out at night. They often seek out troops of monkeys who may drop fruit, and then sometimes bury excess for the future. When eating they often sit back on their hind legs holding the fruit or nut in their hands like a squirrel. They sleep in several nests within the area in tangled vegetation or hollow logs. A territory is usually defended by a pair which stay together for life.
Breeding occurs throughout the year, and courtship consists of the male spraying the female with urine until she allows him to mount after going into a 'frenzy dance'. Gestation is 104-120 days after which 1 or 2 young are born in a nest which is usually near water. After an hour the young are able to run and are fully furred and alert. They are weaned after about 20 days and leave the parents' territory when the next litter is born or food supplies run low.
The Coiban agouti is listed as vulnerable, and is restricted to just Coiba island in Panama.