‘A’ is for Agouti-Just Picture it-


I came across this little critter last year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

Before one ran out in front of me while on my way to the beach, I did not even know that this animal existed.

They are known as ‘tzereques’ (pronounced se-reck-ees) by the Yucatan locals and ‘agoutis’ in English.

As you can see, the local cats know enough to not mess with a rodent this big, and let them hang around and even share their food.

They can be seen roaming around the beach and jungle areas and while they are a bit shy, they usually let you get close enough to snap a photo or two.

I think they are pretty cute; kind of a large rat/rabbit/squirrel mixture. Their hind legs and short tail are similar to those of rabbits; they eat like a squirrel, but they have an overall rat-like appearance.

They are found in Central and Northern South America and the West Indies, in jungle areas with lots of undergrowth and usually near water.

Am I the only one who did not know of the existence of the agouti? If you have never heard or seen this animal before, let me know! Are there any animals that you have come across in your travels that surprised you because you had never seen them before?



8 responses to “‘A’ is for Agouti-Just Picture it-

  1. Great start to the challenge – I can’t wait to see what else you come up with during the month. I will admit I didn’t know what an Agouti was prior to visiting Belize, if it weren’t for the fact that my boyfriend actually ate one of these during our visit I probably still wouldn’t know. While rodent isn’t usually something we see on the menu in Canada, apparently Agouti is common on menus there.


    • I haven’t seen any offered on menus yet, just the live ones running around. I didn’t see any at all in Belize. I imagined that they would be someone’s meal somewhere though.


  2. Hi. I’m usually pretty good on natural history, but this one is new to me. Having said that, there are similar rodents all over the world. The main difference between the more ‘exotic’ species and rats, is that the larger animals usually have shorter tails.
    Nice site. I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with for ‘B’.


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