Rock Cavy

The Rock Cavy or Mocó, Kerodon rupestris, is a cavy species endemic to eastern Brazil, from Easter Piauì state to Minas Gerais state. Rock cavies are found in dry rocky areas, with low scrubby vegetation, and close to stony mountains and hills, resembling another distant related animal, the rock hyrax. They usually shelter in crevices and are territorial animals, defending rock piles against other adult males.

The Rock Cavy is fairly large and weighs up to 2.2 pounds. Just like other cavy rodents, the tail of the rock cavy is vestigial or absent. They feed on seed, leaves of the scrubby vegetation that grows in their territory. They live in groups and give birth to one or two young only, but several litters per year are common. The gestation period averages seventy-five days. They can, sometimes, display homosexual behavior with adult males courting juvenile males. Each group has an alpha or dominant male and several females.

Photo by Brian Gratwicke