The brown agouti (Dasyprocta variegata) is a rodent scavenger that lives on the ground of dense rain forests. This small-eared animal feeds on fruits, leaves, and roots. It can grow to a length of two feet (61 cm) and weigh up to four pounds (1.8 kg). Using its long legs, an agouti moves with a jumping motion, not unlike a deer. Agouti couples usually bear two young. When born, the young are fully capable of taking care of themselves, but remain with their parents for as long as 20 weeks. Jaguars often prey on the agouti.
The paca (Agouti paca) is a large nocturnal rodent that lives in the tropical rain forest. The paca's stout body is covered with dark hair and has four rows of white spots on each side of its body. This animal can weigh as much as 40 pounds (18 kg) and grow to a length of 32.5 inches (83 cm). This large rodent also has large cheeks that help the animal make noises.
Pacas are frequently preyed on by other Amazon animals such jaguars. They avoid many of their predators by using their excellent swimming ability to flee danger and by foraging for food at night. These solitary-living rodents typically feed on plants, roots, seeds, and fruits.
The capybara (Hydorchaeris hydrochaeris) is the largest rodent in the world. This semi-aquatic animal resembles a large guinea pig, can weigh as much as 140 pounds (65 kg), and can grow to a length of four feet (1.25m). The capybara, which feeds on aquatic plants, travels in small familial groups of up to six members. This animal is frequently eaten by other Amazon animals, such as the jaguar. If a capybara senses dangers, it will typically sound a click-like noise warning its group and then run into the water and swim away. With its webbed feet, this animal is an effective swimmer.
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