Hystricognath rodents are a large group of rodents, with more than 230 species. Species in this group are found in North and South America and in Africa and Asia, although the vast majority of species are found in South America. This groups includes some of the largest rodents, including capybaras and American and Old World porcupines. This group also includes some of the most unusual species of rodents, such as naked mole rats, and some of the most familiar, such as porcupines, guinea pigs, and chinchillas. All species in this group are herbivorous, mainly eating plant leaves. Many species in this group are widely eaten by humans, including capybaras, spiny rats, guinea pigs, pacas, and agoutis.
Tanya Dewey (author), Animal Diversity Web.
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
uses touch to communicate