Capybara

Name

Capybara

Scientific Name

Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris.

Characteristics

Capybaras are the world’s largest rodents.  The capybara belongs to the same family as the guinea pig and has many of the same features.

Capybaras have heavy, barrel-shaped bodies. Their partially webbed feet make them well-adapted for swimming. In addition, the capybara’s nose and eyes sit high on its face, making it easier for the capybara to see and breathe whilst it is swimming.

Capybaras are very sociable creatures and spend much of the day chattering back and forth. Besides hiding in the water, the capybara’s main form of defence is a warning bark, taken up by the entire group when one animal is threatened.

Male Capybaras have a scent glands on their nose (known as a morillo). It looks like a dark, sticky patch. Male capybaras use their morillo gland to mark their territory.

Diet

Capybaras are herbivores. They mostly graze on grasses and aquatic plants.

Size Fact

Adult capybaras grow to 106-134cm.

Food Fact

Capybaras have a very effective digestive system which allows them to survive on a remarkably small variety of plants.

Fun Fact

Capybaras love swimming and can remain submerged in the water for up to 5 minutes!

IUCN Red list

Least concern.

Where do I live?

Capybaras originate from South America.

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