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Local animals in this group:

hystricognath rodents


Hystricognath rodents are a large group of rodents, with more than 230 species. Species in this group are found in North and South America and in Africa and Asia, although the vast majority of species are found in South America. This groups includes some of the largest rodents, including capybaras and American and Old World porcupines. This group also includes some of the most unusual species of rodents, such as naked mole rats, and some of the most familiar, such as porcupines, guinea pigs, and chinchillas. All species in this group are herbivorous, mainly eating plant leaves. Many species in this group are widely eaten by humans, including capybaras, spiny rats, guinea pigs, pacas, and agoutis.


Tanya Dewey (author), Animal Diversity Web.


bilateral symmetry

having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends.


uses smells or other chemicals to communicate


animals that generate their own body heat through metabolic processes.


having the capacity to move from one place to another.


reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female


uses touch to communicate

University of Michigan Museum of ZoologyNational Science Foundation

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Dewey, T. . "Hystricomorpha" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed April 19, 2014 at

BioKIDS is sponsored in part by the Interagency Education Research Initiative. It is a partnership of the University of Michigan School of Education, University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, and the Detroit Public Schools. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant DRL-0628151.
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