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COMMON NAME: Capybaras
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris

TYPE: Mammals
DIET: Herbivore, 6 to 8 pounds of grass per day

also reeds, grains, melons and squashes.



LENGTH: 3.2 to 4.2 feet
WEIGHT: 60 to 174 pounds


1. Capybaras embody tranquility, charm, and the true carefree life.


2. Capybaras belong to the Cavy family of rodents, a group of South American rodents that also includes the domestic guinea pig.


3. Believe it or not, there’s no collective noun for a group of capybaras! Some people have suggested a meditation of capybaras because they’re so chilled out.


4. They’re highly social creatures. While they usually live in groups of ten to twenty, this number has been known to rise as high as 100 or so.


5. Their name comes from the indigenous Tupi people of Brazil, who called it ka’apiûara, meaning “one who eats slender leaves.”


6. After requests from Venezuelan priests, in 1784, the Vatican declared that, due to their aquatic nature, capybaras could be classified as fish and could thus be eaten during Lent.


7. Greater capybaras can be found living wild across most countries in South America, including Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Colombia, and Peru.


8. While greater capybara populations are healthy, their lesser cousins are threatened due to excessive hunting and loss of habitat.


9. Wild capybaras usually grow up to 4.4 feet (134 centimeters) long, and typically weigh up to 146 pounds (66 kilograms). The heaviest wild capybara ever recorded weighed 201 pounds (91 kg)!


10. Think of capybaras like the hippos of South America; they’re semiaquatic and love to play around in muddy puddles.


11. Like hippos, their eyes, nose, and ears are all on the top of their heads, so they can stay mostly submerged while keeping an eye on their surroundings.


12. Capybaras eat their poop in the morning. This gross-seeming habit is due to the fact that the grass they eat is hard to digest, and many of the nutrients only become available a second time around.


13. Capybaras can hold their breath for up to five minutes at a time!


14. Capybaras are strong swimmers, thanks to their webbed feet.


15. Capybaras have their own song, Capybara, by Russian band СтоЛичный Она-Нас (Capital She-Us). A warning, if you will – once you hear this song, it will live rent-free in your head forever.


16. It’s legal to own capybaras as pets in North Carolina, though it's not necessarily a great idea, unless you happen to have your own private swampland, or lake with a helping of mud on the side.


17. Capybaras are so incredibly chill that other animals love to sit on them. Birds, monkeys, and even turtles have been known to hitch rides or lounge on the backs of these carefree creatures.


18. These laid-back South American rodents have shown us that life’s better when you take it easy and surround yourself with good company. Accordingly, we find our capybaras have a adjusted very well to relaxed, country North Carolina living.


19. They might not look like it, but they’re rodents, the largest living ones!


20. Because capybaras are rodents, they share some common features with mice, squirrels, and porcupines. The most well-known of those features are probably those ever-growing front teeth. Capybaras use their long, sharp teeth for grazing on grass and water plants.

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