Image credit: Phillip Capper cc2.0


Image credit: Phillip Capper cc2.0

The capybara is an herbivorous, semi-aquatic mammal. It has a barrel-like body, a short head and reddish-brown fur, and is the largest rodent in the world. It is prey for large cats (like the puma, jaguar and ocelot) and also for anacondas.

Foraging capybaras by Fidel León Darder GFDL v1.2

Capybaras are coprophagous (which means they eat their own feces!) This enables them to get the greatest amount of nutrition possible from their food, and also helps them digest the grass they eat. They may also regurgitate their food and chew it again. That constant grass-chewing wears down their teeth, so to make up for that, their teeth are constantly growing.

Chigüire (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) y Garcita Reznera (Bubulcus ibis)
Image credit: Fernando Flores cc2.0

Capybaras are fast runners — they can run as fast as a horse! They’re also great swimmers. They can stay submerged for about 5 minutes, which is useful when evading predators. They sometimes even sleep in the water, with only their noses sticking out.

Mother with typical litter of four pups. Zoo Schönbrunn, Vienna GFDL v1.2

They live in large groups, sometimes with as many as a hundred members. Females usually give birth to four pups, and a few hours after the birthing she rejoins the group. The young will join as soon as they can walk. They will suckle from any female in the group until weaned at around 16 weeks.

Capybaras are featured in the following book:
25 Amazon Rainforest Animals

The YouTube video playlist below contains videos about capybaras. Details of the videos featured are underneath.

The Playlist:

  1. Caiman vs Capybara – BBC wildlife
  2. Pets 101- Capybaras by Animal Planet
  3. Four baby capybaras are in hot spa by fuafuacapybara


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