The Animal Facts Editorial Team
June 16, 2023 7:48 pm
Perth Zoo, Perth, Australia
Perth Zoo have welcomed a pair of red-rumped agouti to their animal family. The male and female agouti have spent a short period of time behind the scenes bonding with keepers before going on display this week.
Agouti are a species of small, dainty rodent which can be found in the wilds of South America. They use their excellent hearing to find fruit which is falling to the forest floor and then consume this quickly. Across most of their body they have a brown coat but their back features a bright patch of red fur which they can flare up allowing them to scare off predators.
Now that they are settled in their new home Perth Zoo are seeking names for their latest arrivals. Keepers have narrowed down a list and are now asking guests to vote for their favourite name – Agouti Name Vote | Perth Zoo
The list of potential names is below
For the male –
Astro – for the main palm seeds they eat and disperse through the rainforests: Astrocaryum aculeatissimum
Tupi – the name ‘agouti’ is thought to come from a South American indigenous language, either Tupi or Guarani
Bonito – meaning ‘pretty’ in Spanish
For the female –
Amami – for the sap and gum of another seed they eat and disperse through rainforests
Iri – the local name for the palm species Astrocaryum aculeatissimum that they eat and disperse through rainforests
Cova – meaning ‘den’ or ‘burrow’ in Portuguese
They are the only animal in their habitat which is able to break through the shell of a brazil nut without tools. As such they are an important distributor of the seeds of these nuts through the environment. They will bury nuts to eat and if they do not return to eat them these will grow in to new trees.
Image: © Perth Zoo
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