We had this little guy ir gal sniffing around the lodge at Las Tangaras, so I thought I´d share some pics. There is also a burrow just down the trail leading to the lodge which would be just the right size for this agouti, so I´m curious if it is in fact an agouti burrow. I set a camera trap up near it but all I got was some pictures of hikers and some late night eye shine, so I´m moving the camera trap closer.
Anyway, this little creature deserves its own post, whether or not its living near the cabin. This is the Central American Agouti, at least until classification is revised, even though it is found in Ecuador. The Agouti is a type of rodent that really reminds me of a giant Guinea Pig. I wonder if perhaps the two are related as Guinea Pigs were first domesticated for food in the Andes (you can still buy and eat Cuy in Andean nations). This agouti visits occassionally to see if ripe fruit has fallen fron our Naranjilla trees.
So I`ve done a bit more research, according to The Neotropical Companion (an indispensible piece of literature for anyone spending time in the neotropics) the Agouti is related not only to guinea pigs but also chinchillas, pacas (similar to agoutis but nocturnal) and the Capybara (the world`s largest rodent, native to the Pantanal.
Has the contest started yet? (Name the Agouti) I am submitting “Oswald”, or “Ozzie” for short.