Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Hutia are a part of the Taino World

Did You Know: The Hutia is a large indigenous rodent that inhabits various Caribbean Islands. The average size ranges from about 20 to 60 centimeters (8-24 inches), and they can weigh up to 7 kilograms (15 pounds). At least 20 species of hutia have been identified, but as many as half may be extinct. Among those that are said to have perished are the giant hutia, which are said to have resembled the modern capibara. Tails are present among the species, varying from vestiges to prehensile. Hutia have stout bodies and large heads. Most species are herbivorous, though some consume small animals. Like other rodents most hutia are nocturnal, but instead of burrowing underground, they can nest in trees or even rock crevices. The word Hutia is a word from the Taino language and during ancient times these rodents were hunted regularly for their meat. The consuming of hutia continues among some traditionalists; however, this animal is endangered in many countries. Hutia once lived throughout most all regions of the islands from the coast to the forest to the sabanas. - UCTP Taino News © 2008