Paca

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Pacas
Lowland Paca
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Suborder: Hystricomorpha
Genus: Cuniculus
Species

Cuniculus paca
Cuniculus taczanowskii

Synonyms

For Cuniculidae:

  • Agoutidae Gray, 1821
  • Coelogenyidae Gervais, 1849

For Cuniculus:

  • Agouti Lacépède, 1799
  • Caelogenus Fleming, 1822
  • Caelogenys Agassiz, 1842
  • Coelogenus Cuvier, 1807
  • Coelogenys Illiger, 1811
  • Mamcoelogenysus Herrera, 1899
  • Osteopera Harlan, 1825
  • Paca Fischer, 1814
  • Stictomys Thomas, 1924

The genus Cuniculus has the two species of paca.

Pacas are found from southern Mexico to northern Argentina. They are a source of meat in many places.

Both species of paca eat mainly fruit. Other foods include roots, seeds, leaves, buds, and flowers. In the wild, pacas are herbivores, meaning they eat only plants. In captivity, they are omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and flesh. Pacas in zoos eat fruits, vegetables, raw meat, lizards, and insects.