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Related to agoutis: Common agouti


1. The wildtype hair color banding found in mammals; including some felidae; hairs are lighter or gray at the base and tipped with dark or blak pigment. Multiple banding on a hair may occur.
See also: Dasyprocta.
2. A tropic rodent.
See: Dasyprocta.
[Fr., native Indian]


Molecular biology A gene expressed during the hair-growth cycle in the neonatal skin of mice, in which it is a paracrine regulator of pigmentation. The secreted agouti protein antagonises binding of alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone to its receptor (melanocortin 1 receptor) on the surface of hair bulb melanocytes, altering intracellular cAMP levels. Because of its role in regulating coat colour, agouti has served as a model of gene action and interaction.
Zoology A popular term for any of the guinea pig-like rodents of the genus Dasyprocta, which are native to the Western Hemisphere.


a fur coloration in which there are alternating light and dark bands of colour on the individual hairs, giving a speckled brownish appearance. Such a fur coloration is found in mammals such as rabbits, rats and mice.


1. speedy, stout-bodied, nocturnal, South American rodent that bounds like a hare. Called also Dasyprocta aguti.
2. a pattern of pigmentation in which individual hairs have several bands of light and dark pigment with black tips. Seen in hares, Abyssinian cats, guinea pigs, and the agouti, after which it is named.
References in periodicals archive ?
This behavior presumably protects the fleeing agouti against bites.
The natural history of the Central American agouti (Dasyprocta punctata).
Dasyprocta punctata and Agouti paca (Guatusa, Cherenga, Agouti, Tepezcuintle, Paca).
A reexamination in 1984 of material obtained from Brumpt's and Joyeux' initial case of the agouti demonstrated that the larval stage of E.
Taeniidae) from an agouti (Rodentia: Dasyproctidae) in Brazil.
2, be wholly predated by mammalian herbivores, such as agoutis, deer, and tapirs, but larger individuals can also be damaged or killed by mammalian herbivores (De Steven & Putz, 1985; De Steven, 1989; cf.
In the Neotropics large palm fruits are often scatter hoarded by various types of rodents: agoutis (Kiltie, 1981; Smythe, 1989; Forget, 1991; Bernal, 1998), acouchis (Forget, 1991), spiny rats (Forget, 1991; Hoch & Adler, 1997), and squirrels (Galetti et al.
The long history of palms in neotrop ical rain forests has allowed them to adapt to the particular conditions there and has allowed other components of the rain-forest ecosystems to adapt to the palms (as Smythe [1989] suggested for the agouti [Dasyprocta spp.
Usually, the agoutis bury the nuts within one hundred feet of the tree and sometimes use reference points to remind them of the locations.
Once the fruit pods have been emptied by the agoutis and fill with rainwater, they are highly valued by certain animals for reproduction.
After piercing a hole through the fruit's hard outer shell, the agouti removes the seeds and buries them one by one in favorite locations, to be eaten in the future when other food sources are scarce.
Howler monkeys, tamarins, squirrel monkeys, and agoutis are also still common in the vicinity of the main cities of French Guiana, and periurban species may also be infected and act as reservoirs.