The Desmarest's hutia (Capromys pilorides) has a head-and-body length of 31–60 cm (12–24 in), a tail that is 14–29 cm (5.5–11.4 in) long, and weigh 2.8–8.5 kg (6.2–18.7 lb). It has thick, coarse fur which extends to the tip of the tail. The colour of the body fur varies from black to brown, with a light sand colour and red also seen. The body is stocky and the legs short. It moves with a slow, waddling gait, but can perform a quick hop when pursued. The feet have five toes with large claws which assist the animal in climbing. The stomach is divided into three compartments by constrictions in the gut and is among the most complex of any rodent.