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Central and South American rodent, 1650s, from Spanish, from Tupi (Brazil) paca.
either of two species of South American rodents with piglike bodies, large heads, and swollen cheeks. They have short ears, large eyes, and long whiskers, and their bodies are stout, with large rumps and short limbs. The front feet have four toes, and the hindfeet have five-two tiny side toes and three long, weight-bearing middle toes, all with thick claws.