Class Mammalia Order Rodentia Suborder Hystricognathi Family Caviidae

Thumbnail description

Range from short, stocky body form to rabbitlike with long slender legs and nails that are hoof-like; either clawed digits or nails; scampering or cursorial locomotion; pelage relatively short and gray to agouti dorsally and paler on ventral surface


Head and body length 5.9-29.5 in (150-750 mm); tailless or tail length 0.9-1.3 in (24-35 mm); weight 7 oz to 35.2 lb (200 g to 16 kg)

Number of genera, species

6 genera; 16 species


Low elevations up to elevations of 16,400 ft (5,000 m), semiarid thorn shrub, grassland and savanna, riparian forest and forest edge, rocky outcrops, steppe vegetation with sparse shrubs, and cultivated areas

Conservation status

No species listed by the IUCN


Broadly distributed throughout South America


Broadly distributed throughout South America

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