OCTODON, the generic name for a small South American rodent mammal (Octodon degus) locally known as the degu.
The typical genus is represented by the degu (Octodon degus) and several nearly related species; other genera being Ctenomys, Octodontomys (Neoctodon), Aconaemys, Spalacopus and Abrocoma; the latter taking its name from its unusually soft fur.
Of the remaining families of the Simplicidentata, all are southern, the cavies (Caviidae), chinchillas (Chinchillidae), and degus (Octodontidae) being Central and South American, while the Capromyidae are common to southern America and Africa, and the Ctenodactylidae are exclusively African.
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