Reproductive biology

Agoutis are capable of breeding throughout the year, whenever conditions (especially availability of fallen fruit) are favorable. The basic social unit is the mated pair; the pair bond lasts for life. Reproduction may occur twice a year, if food supplies permit. Unlike the familiar rats, mice, and hamsters, these rodents have small litters of large young in which they invest a great deal of time and parental care. The litter size is generally one or two, with occasional records of three and (very rarely) four. Lactation lasts for around 20 weeks. However, because of the high risk of predation, the young are precocial, being born fully furred, with open and functioning eyes and ears. They are well coordinated and able to run within an hour of birth. Gestation varies between 104 and 120 days. The estrous cycle is around 34 days.

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