Kerodon rupestris is endemic to the semi-arid region of northeastern Brazil known as the Caatinga. Eisenberg and Redford, ; Lacher, Within the Caatinga region, K. In these outcroppings, rifts and hollows create space for K. Environmental conditions are unpredictable; annual rainfall varies between and mm, and flooding and drought can occur throughout the year.
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Like other cavy species, their tails are vestigial or absent. Their backs are grey-brown and their bellies tan to light brown. In appearance and habit, they closely resemble the unrelated African rock hyraxes an example of convergent evolution.
This vegetation consists of tender leaves and certain species of creeper. Rock cavies are found in dry, rocky areas with low, scrubby vegetation , and they prefer to reside close to stony mountainsides and hills. Rock cavies belong to the order Rodentia , sub-order Hystricomorpha , based on their porcupine-like jaw muscles. Rock cavys usually shelter in crevices. They may be seen resting at all times of day, but are crepuscular — active mostly at dawn and dusk.
Rock cavys live in groups, centered around rock-sheltered dens. Each rock cavy group has an alpha or dominant male and several females. The males are territorial , defending rock pile shelters against other adult males. The rock piles are chosen to impress the females; once a female chooses a rock pile, she indirectly chooses its guardian as her mate.
They can sometimes display homosexual behavior, with males courting other males. Some paedophilic behavior has also been displayed, with adult males courting juvenile males. The placenta for a rock cavy is similar to other hystricomorph rodents: They have several lobes that are lined with blood vessels and undergo a counter-current blood flow. There are blood vessels running from the mother along the placenta and then vessels running from the fetus back over the mothers vessels.
This allows for a better flow of oxygen between the mother and the fetus. The young are able to eat solid food at three days old, but continue to nurse for up to seven weeks.
The milk produced for these young is very dense in energy. This may be due to the lack of water availability in their environment. When both parents are present, the females spend more time with their young than the males do. When the male is absent, the females spend more time with their young than they do when the father is present.
Females who raise young on their own are more aggressive than females that raise the young with a partner. The young raised by single mothers also gain more weight while nursing less than those raised by both parents.
There is no explanation for this trend. Rock cavies are endemic to several protected areas, and reproduce quickly, so they are currently listed as "least concern" on the IUCN Red List.
There are efforts underway to breed rock cavies in captivity as a potential food source. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Rock cavy Conservation status. Wied-Neuwied , Its function is not completely known; it may have a role in hormone secretion. The vessels from the mother and fetus occur in different places in the subplacenta, so it is not used for counter-current exchange. Herpetological Bulletin. Revista Oficial. Universidade do Recife. Zoo Biology. Neuroscience Letters. March Molecular Biology and Evolution.
In Wilson, D. M eds. Johns Hopkins University Press. Biological Exuberance: Animal homosexuality and natural diversity. Physiological Zoology. Extant species of family Caviidae Cavies. Capybara Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris Lesser Capybara Hydrochoerus isthmius. Rock Cavy Kerodon rupestris Acrobatic cavy Kerodon acrobata. Hidden categories: CS1: long volume value Articles with 'species' microformats Wikipedia articles needing clarification from May All articles with unsourced statements Articles with unsourced statements from May Namespaces Article Talk.
Kerodon acrobata Kerodon rupestris. The genus Kerodon contains two species of South American rock cavies, related to capybaras and guinea pigs. This area has a rocky terrain with large granite boulders that contain rifts and hollows where Kerodon spp. They are hystricomorph rodents, medium-sized, with rabbit-like bodies, a squirrel-like face, and heavily padded feet. Their nails are blunt on all digits except a small grooming claw on the outermost digit of the foot. Fully grown adults weigh around g or oz, and range in length from to mm or 7. Gestation last around 76 days and the young are weaned from the mother within 33 days.