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Small rodents: Rodents are chisel-toothed mammals which have large front incisors and no canine teeth. They are consumers of fruits and seeds for which they act as important agents of dispersal. In this section we include the small rodents (e.g., rats. mice, and spiny rats).
Guianan Squirrel
Sciurus aestuans Guianan Squirrel image
Makushi name: Kari
Creole name: Squirrel
Size: body=20 cm; tail=17 cm; weight=450 g
Description: Together with other tree squirrels, it has large eyes, long, bushy tail, and long toes with claws. Medium-sized. Back and head are grizzled, dark reddish brown, with pale eye ring; belly greyish-orange; dark tail edged in yellowish-orange. The largest squirrel in Guyana.
Activity: Diurnal, arboreal.
Habits: Usually solitary, sometimes occurs in pairs. Most often seen in middle or lower levels of trees where it forages actively for nuts, fruits, and occasionally eggs and nestling birds. When alarmed it climbs up a tree trunk (usually on the opposite side from an observer), while chattering or giving sharp chips and barks.
Habitat: Primary and secondary forest, often in tree falls or tangled mats of vines.
Status: Locally common.
Distribution in Iwokrama
Red-nosed Tree Rat
Echimys didelphoides Red-nosed Tree Rat image
Size: body=25 cm; tail=15 cm; weight=500 g
Description: Medium-sized, arboreal rat. Upperparts dark reddish-brown with flattened spines; spines with pale tips lending a distinct "salt and pepper" appearance; snout reddish; belly variable, usually grey-brown. Tail shorter than head and body, thinly haired without tuft at the tip. Feet short and broad. Eyeshine dull red.
Activity: Nocturnal, arboreal.
Habits: Solitary. Feeds on seeds and fruit. Usually found in middle or lower layers of thick brush and trees, especially along rivers. Sits quietly and is difficult to see except when actively foraging; freezes motionless in the beam of a flashlight. Dens in tree holes during the day.
Habitat: Primary or secondary forest, especially along rivers and streams.
Status: Locally common along the many rivers in Iwokrama.
Distribution in Iwokrama
Cuvier's Terrestrial Spiny Rat
Proechimys cuvieri Cuvier's Terrestrial Spiny Rat image
Creole name: bob rat
Size: body=25 cm; tail=18 cm; weight=500 g
Description: Medium-sized and stocky-bodied, with stiff hairs or spines on back and rump, which are partly concealed in the thick shiny fur. The fur is dark-reddish brown on the back with a contrasting white belly. Medium-length, bi-coloured tail. The tail is easily broken near its base (hence the local name "bob rat"). Bright yellowish-orange eyeshine.
Activity: Nocturnal; strictly terrestrial, it will occasionally walk along low-lying fallen logs, but does not climb trees or vines.
Habits: Solitary, it is often seen foraging for seeds and fruits on the forest floor, or hiding in crevices such as hollow logs or near rocks. It is usually silent. Often seen at night.
Habitat: Forests, both dry upland and low, wet forest.
Status: This is the most common rat in Iwokrama.
Distribution in Iwokrama

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