Lowland Paca

The lowland paca (Cuniculus paca), also known as the spotted paca, is a large rodent found in tropical and sub-tropical America.  It is called paca in most of its range, but tepezcuintle in most of Mexico and Central America, pisquinte in northern Costa Rica, jaleb in the Yucatán peninsula, conejo pintado in Panamá guanta in Ecuador, majás or picuro in Peru, jochi pintado in Bolivia, andboruga or guardatinaja in Colombia. It is also known as the gibnut in Belize, where it is prized as a game animal, labba in Guyana, lapa in Venezuela, and lappe on the island of Trinidad.

The lowland paca has coarse fur without underfur, dark brown to black on the upper body and white or yellowish on the underbelly. It usually has three to five rows of white spots along its sides, against a dark grey background. It has thick strong legs, with four digits in the forefeet and five in the hind feet (the first and fifth are reduced); the nails function as hooves. The tail is short and hairless. The lowland paca is mostly nocturnal and solitary and does not vocalize very much. It lives in forested habitats near water, preferably smaller rivers, and dig simple burrows about 2 m (6 ft 7 in) below the surface, usually with more than one exit. The lowland paca is a good swimmer and usually heads for the water to escape danger. It also is an incredible climber and it searches for fruit in the trees. Its diet includes leaves, stems, roots, seeds, fruit,especially avocados, mangos and zapotes

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