Friday, October 1, 2010

Chan Chich Agouti

Here's a fairly nice photo of an agouti (Dasyprocta punctata), a large and common rodent that I've written about before (see 16 February 2010). In terms of its ecology, the agouti is territorial and terrestrial, although it does like being near water. Chan Chich creek meanders only 100 or so meters from this camera location, so this agouti should feel right at home. Agoutis seem to run on tiptoes and are capable of fairly high jumps straight up when startled.

This is a July photo at Chan Chich Lodge, early in the morning, so the infra-red flash gave us a black-and-white image. There were quite a few images in this series, of which this was clearly the best. I've found that the image quality really goes down during the hot summer months -- when the temperatures and humidity are really high. It'll be interesting to see whether, come January, the image quality improves.


  1. Carolyn -

    I recently returned from my first trip to Belize. I'm a freelance writer and I'm trying to sort out some of what I learned in hopes of writing some articles about my new favorite place to visit. One question I had involves the agouti. Is the agouti the same thing as the gibnut? I heard both names for a large rodent, but wasn't certain they were the same thing.

  2. Hi Eric -- The agouti and the paca are closely related, similar looking large rodents. The agouti is diurnal and the paca is nocturnal. The Belizean name for the paca is gibnut. There are some examples of both species in other posts throughout the blog if you want to check it out further. Thanks for writing.