Physical characteristics

These are glossy-furred, big-headed, rabbit-sized rodents with chunky bodies on long delicate legs. A prominent nose and whiskers, large eyes, and small ears perch high on the head. The tail is either a tiny nub and barely visible

(Dasyprocta) or it is longer and readily visible (Myoprocta). Color is highly variable over the extensive ranges of the two genera; even within species, color variation can also be quite extensive. They are best distinguished from the larger and closely related pacas (Agoutidae) by the absence of prominent patterns of spots and stripes on the flanks. The scientific name is derived from the Greek dasus, meaning "hairy," and prok-tos, meaning "rump." Agoutis not only have hair on their rumps, but it is especially long hair.

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