Curtin, Charles B. Department of Biology, Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska.
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A large, rabbit-sized rodent, belonging to the family Dasyproctidae and inhabiting South America and Central America, which is well adapted for speed because of its elongated hind legs. The agouti is a large rodent that resembles the rabbit or hare in size and shape (see illustration). As a result of its elongated hind legs, it is well adapted for speed. The agouti (genus Dasyprocta) and the closely related, smaller acouchi (genus Myoprocta) belong to the family Dasyproctidae in the mammalian order Rodentia. They are inhabitants of clearings in forested areas of the Amazon region in South America, with some members ranging into Central America as well as the Lesser Antilles and West Indies in the Caribbean. See also: Mammalia; Rodentia; Zoogeography
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