Sure, this animal looks like some tail-less beaver or weird looking guinea pig, but it’s actually a capybara— the largest rodent in the world!
Affectionately known as “capys,” the capybara is native to Central and South America. Their long, rodent-esque teeth are perfect for grazing on grass and water plants. Due to its dry skin, they require a swimming hole as part of its lifestyle to stay healthy. Water is a life source for these animals— not only do they swim to stay healthy, but they use water as a place to mate and to hide from predators! A capybara can stay underwater for up to five minutes at a time to hide from predators. Similar to a hippo, a capy’s eyes, nose and ears are located towards the upper part of its head. This makes it easy to hide the majority of their body underwater while being aware of their surroundings.
Did You Know?
Capybaras are very intelligent and trainable animals. In Surinam, a blind man once used a capybara as a guide animal.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Chordata
- Subphylum: Vertebrata
- Class: Mammalia
- Order: Rodentia
- Family: Caviidae
- Genus: Hydrochoerus
- Species: Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris