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either of two species of South American rodents that resemble the small tropical-forest-dwelling hoofed animals of Africa and Asia (see royal antelope; chevrotain). Weighing 1 to 1.5 kg (2.2 to 3.3 pounds), acouchys are 30 to 39 cm (12 to 15 inches) long, with a very short (4 to 8 cm), pencil-thin tail with white hairs on the underside and at the tufted tip. The legs are long and slender, and the three-toed hind feet end in hooflike claws. The coarse fur of the red acouchy (Myoprocta acouchy) is dark chestnut red or orange on the sides of the body and legs and black or dark red on the rump; underparts range from dark red to orange. Upperparts of the green acouchy (M. pratti) are covered by grizzled fur, each hair of which has several alternating black and yellow bands, giving the animal an overall green or olive-coloured appearance. Underparts are pale orange, sometimes with white patches