Trivia question for May-24-2011
Carter read about the plight of these poor guys and knew immediately that he wanted to feature them in his trivia, so here goes: These are rat like rodents that catch small animals to supplement their diet of plant matter. This particular species is confined to Cuba and the immediate islands.
These guys normally live in pairs, but can be found individually or in small groups. They are diurnal and do not burrow, so during the night they rest in hollows in rocks or trees. They are omnivorous but eat mostly bark, leaves and fruit. Occasionally they will take small vertebrates such as lizards. Both males and females scent mark their territory with urine. They breed throughout the year with a gestation period of between 110 and 140 days (normally around 120 to 126 days), although peak breeding season is in June/July.
So here are Carter’s questions: Cuba had a bad rat infestation problem back in the early 70’s so they brought in a specific species to help them with the problem. Unfortunately, this animal almost wiped-out the species we are featuring today. Tell us what this species is and what was the species that was introduced in the Cuban Islands back in the 70’s. Also, tell us how many babies they normally have with each litter.
Good Luck 😉
Congratulations to Mia from Hungary for answering our trivia via Twitter. Great job and welcome to OMG. The animal we featured is the Cuban Hutias. Cuban Hutia, also known as Desmarest’s Hutia, is a species of hutia endemic to Cuba. Growing to 24 in, it is the largest of the extant hutia species, and is abundant throughout its range.
In the 70’s locals brought in Indian Mongoose to help rid the rat problems on the islands. Unfortunately, the mongoose has also become the deadliest intruder to the Hutias as well which have wiped out a host of Caribbean animal species, and proved impossible to eradicate despite shooting and trapping. Cuban Hutias (also referred to as Banana Rats) typically give birth to 1 to 6 babies with each litter. Here is more on these large rodents: Cuban Hutias
Thanks for playing along 😉