The genus Kerodon contains two species of South American rock cavies related to capybaras.
Adults weigh about 800 grams. Gestation period
is 76-77 days with 1-3 young born to females. Metabolic rate
is 0.45 ml-O2
/(g h) (Rowe and Honeycutt, 2003). It is found in rocky habitat in arid regions.
Like their relatives, the capybara
and the maras
, members of the genus Kerodon
are highly social (Rowe and Honeycutt, 2003). Kerodon
, like its relative the capybara, is polygynous
with males forming harems
Traditionally the genus Kerodon
has been considered a member of the subfamily Caviinae
along with the guinea pigs
and other cavies. Molecular
results have consistently suggested that Kerodon
is most closely related to the capybara
, and that the two evolved from within the Caviidae
(Rowe and Honeycutt, 2002). This led Woods and Kilpatrick (2005) to unite the two into the subfamily Hydrochoerinae
within the Caviidae. Using a molecular clock
approach, Opazo (2005) suggested that Kerodon
diverged from Hydrochoerus
(the capybara) in the late Middle Miocene
- Nowak, Ronald M. 1999. Walker's Mammals of the World, 6th edition. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1936 pp. ISBN 0-8018-5789-9
- Opazo, J. C. 2005. A molecular timescale for Caviomorph rodents (Mammalia, Hystricognathi). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 37:932-937.
- Rowe, D. L. and R. L. Honeycutt. 2002. Phylogenetic relationships, ecological correlates, and molecular evolution within the Cavioidea (Mammalia, Rodentia). Molecular Biology and Evolution, 19:263-277.
- Woods, C. A. and C. W. Kilpatrick. 2005. Infraorder Hystricognathi. Pp 1538-1600 in Mammal Species of the World A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (D. E. Wilson and D. M. Reeder eds.). Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Press.