The giant hutias
are an extinct
group of large rodents
known from fossil
material in the West Indies. One species, Amblyrhiza inundata
, is estimated to have weighed between , big specimens being as large as an American Black Bear
. This is much larger than Capybara
, the largest rodent living today, but still much smaller than Phoberomys pattersoni
and Phoberomys insolita
, the largest rodents presently known. These animals may have persisted into historic times and were probably used as a food source by aboriginal humans. All giant hutias are in a single family Heptaxodontidae
, which contains no living species.
The giant hutias are divided into two subfamilies, five genera, and six species.
- Biknevicius, A. R.; McFarlane, Donald A. & MacPhee, R. D. E (1993): Body size in Amblyrhiza inundata (Rodentia: Caviomorpha), an extinct megafaunal rodent from the Anguilla Bank, West Indies: estimates and implications. Am. Mus. Novit. 3079: 1-26. PDF fulltext
- MacPhee, R. D. E. & Flemming, C. (2003): A possible heptaxodontine and other caviidan rodents from the Quaternary of Jamaica. Am. Mus. Novit. 3422: 1-42. PDF fulltext
- Nowak, Ronald M. 1999. Walker's Mammals of the World, 6th edition. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1936 pp. ISBN 0-8018-5789-9
- Woods, C. A. 1989. Biogeography of West Indian rodents. Pp 741-797 in Biogeography of the West Indies: Past Present and Future. Sandhil Crane Press, Gainesville.