Scientific name: Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris
Habitats: Tropical grassland, freshwater
Average lifespan: 4 - 8 years
Size: 130 centimetres (4.3 ft) in length
Weight: up to 65 kg (140 lb)
Conservation status: Not Threatened
The name Capybara means 'master of the grasses' in the language of the Guarani Indians. Grasses are indeed the favourite food of this giant rodent. Like other rodents, the front teeth grow continuously to make up for the wear and tear of eating grasses.
How big is a Capybara?
The Capybara is the world's largest rodent. It is related to rats and mice. The capybara's body has a length of about a metre and a height at the shoulder around 60 cm.
What does a Capybara look like?
Capybaras have heavy, barrel-shaped bodies with short heads. The Capybara ranges in colour from brown to reddish and has tough skin, which is sometimes used to make high quality leather. Their fur is reddish brown on the upper parts and yellowish brown underneath. The eyes and ears are high on the head so they can easily be kept above water when swimming.
Where do Capybara live?
Capybara are found in densely forested areas near bodies of water, such as lakes, rivers, swamps, ponds and marshes, as well as flooded savannah and along rivers in tropical forest.
The capybara is found in Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, the Guyanas and Peru, south through Brazil, Paraguay, northeast Argentina, and Uruguay.
What does a Capybara eat?
Capybara is an herbivore, grazing mainly on grasses and aquatic plants, as well as fruit and tree bark.
What are the natural enemies of the Capybara?
They have a life span of 4–8 years in the wild but average a life less than four years as they are a favourite food of jaguar, puma, ocelot, eagle and caiman. The capybara is also the preferred prey of the anaconda.
How do Capybara communicate?
Capybaras communicate with barks, whistles, clicks, squeals and grunts. Scent is also an important part of their lives. The dominant male in a group has a large shiny gland on the bridge of his nose that is used for smearing a scent onto grasses in his territory.
Can a Capybara swim?
The capybara is semi-aquatic, living in grassy wetland areas or close to rivers. It carries out most of its activities on land, using water as a refuge where is swims and dives with ease. There are simple webs between the toes that help when swimming. They can hold their breath under water for only a few minutes, but can hide in water when necessary for much longer, with only their noses sticking out of the water. The hottest hours of the day are spent in the water and grazing is done in the mornings, evenings and at night.
Download free Capybara wallpapers, click on the image to open the large version.
Capybara wallpaper 1
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Capybara wallpaper 3
Capybara wallpaper 4
Capybara Coloring pages
Print free Capybara coloring pages, click on the image to open the large version.