30 Facts About Capybaras

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The biggest rodents in the world are capybaras (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris). They can weigh up to 150 pounds and stand 2 feet tall at the shoulders. The largest, friendliest, and prettiest South American forest rats you’ve ever seen are called capybaras. Capybaras are sociable animals that are well adapted to their marsh habitat thanks to their partially webbed feet and top-mounted eyes, ears, and nostrils. It should be noted that they are not listed as an endangered species. But because of hunting, their populations have decreased in some places.

Including what a capybara is, where they live, what they eat, and how to keep one as a pet. We’ll even provide some information on capybaras that you might not be aware of:

30 Facts About Capybaras

1. Physical characteristics

Similar to hippos, they have eyes, ears, and nostrils on top of their heads, which allows them to keep the majority of their bodies submerged while keeping an eye out for predators. Because they can fully dive for up to five minutes, capybaras can evade predators like jaguars, caimans, and anacondas. The male capybara will follow the female around during breeding season till they mate in the water.

2. They live in groups

Capybaras are very social animals that dwell in groups of 10 to 30 people.2 The groups are stable and collaborate to protect their habitat. Females nurture their offspring together, and young capybaras will breastfeed from multiple mothers. The herd also keeps a lookout for young capybaras, who are more vulnerable to predators.

3. They also consume their own poop

Capybaras are auto-coprophagous, which means they eat their own feces to get the most nutrition out of every meal. This practice, which they do every morning, provides them with bacterial flora that is necessary for optimal digestion. Because the grasses they eat are difficult to digest, this process permits their bodies to absorb the fibrous food from the previous day.

4. Their behavior is similar to that of rodents

Their nearest relatives are guinea pigs and rock cavies, which are members of the Caviidae family. They are the rodent equivalent of the hippopotamus, chewing their food while swimming through South American marshes.

5. Teeth never stop growing

Like other rodents, capybaras have two long, front teeth that never stop growing. Their sharp, chisel-like incisors are extremely useful for slicing through the grass. Capybaras need to crush and chew on food or bark in order to wear down their teeth to a manageable length. Although they continue to develop throughout their lives, the capybaras’ continual grinding to masticate their greens wears down their molars.

6. Outstanding swimmers

Due to their semi-aquatic nature, capybaras are always seen living close to bodies of water. Anacondas, wild cats, and even eagles lurk in the murky waters along the banks of the Amazon River, yet life by the river is still the ideal location to set up camp since it allows them to leave swiftly. They have webbed feet that make it easier for them to move through the water, and their huge heads include facial characteristics that help them see and breathe while swimming.

7. They have a variety of sounds to communicate

Capybaras communicate with one another by using a wide range of noises. These vocalizations include grunting, screeching, cackling, whining, and even barking. They could even communicate by biting their teeth together. The noises have a variety of meanings, including warnings about predators, danger to the young, or even merely the weather.

8. They are sociable

The sociable capybara tends to dwell in huge herds of 10 to 20 animals and is regularly spotted interacting with other animals.8 In certain situations, an animal, like a bird, can have a free feast of insects while the capybara relaxes and takes advantage of the free grooming. This is an example of a symbiotic connection. Additionally, their very sociable behavior increases their likelihood of mating and serves to defend them from predators.

9. They are herbivorous

Capybaras are a type of vegetarian animal that only eats plants. These herbivores mostly eat grasses, fruits, bark, and aquatic plants. They eat a lot, with adults ingesting the equivalent of 6 to 8 pounds each day, however, their diet fluctuates with the seasons. They increase their intake of reeds, grains, melon, and squash during the dry season. Capybaras prefer to feed around dawn or dusk to escape predators.

10. They have the ability to sleep in water

Capybaras can dive and stay underwater for up to 5 minutes at a time; they frequently doze off in the water while maintaining their noses close to the banks. They remain cool by taking naps along rivers, mangroves, and marshes.

11. Other animals and birds utilize them as seating on furniture

These amiable creatures—often referred to as “Nature’s Ottoman” or “moving chairs”—never seem to refuse an animal’s invitation to ride along with them. Numerous different bird species, monkeys, bunnies, and even other capybaras have all been seen sitting, perched, or lying on the back of a capybara that is very accommodating.

12. A capybara adult weighs the same as a human adult

These barrel-shaped rodents, which range in weight from 35 to 70 kilograms, are undoubtedly not field mice, with an average weight of roughly 50 kilograms. Despite the fact that female capybaras weigh a little more than males do.

13. They are agile on land

While capybaras prefer to hang out by the water’s edge, they are quite agile on land and are capable of running at speeds of up to 35 kilometers per hour, which is the same as a horse.

14. They are perceptive creatures

These South American natives are the biggest rats in the world despite not having the typical street or kitchen cupboard appearance. Even though they have an odd appearance, capybaras have swiftly emerged as the Internet’s “pseudo-stars” in part because of their propensity to get along well with other animals as well as the fact that they resemble giant guinea pigs.

15. They run extremely fast

Because capybaras’ natural predators are so ferocious, they must be able to move rapidly away from danger as it approaches. For both their size and their species, capybaras move quickly. They can run at speeds of up to 22 mph, which is roughly the pace of a domestic dog. Given that they have big bodies and heads, this is astonishing.

16. They are prey to many

Particularly the green anaconda relies heavily on capybara for food. Among the other species that prey on capybaras are caimans, eagles, jaguars, pumas, and ocelots. a sad yet accurate illustration of capybara facts.

17. They have a significant deal of popularity in Japan

Hot springs are beloved by capybaras. Their laid-back pleasure of their environment, along with their kind demeanor and endearing looks, won the hearts of the Japanese people right away. It also set off a trend in other Japanese zoos, which allowed them access to hot springs similar to those at Izu Shaboten in addition to capybaras of their own.

18. Capybaras serve several purposes for people

Native American tribes frequently hunt animal for their meat and fur. In modern culture, capybara meat and fur are in high demand and are frequently produced on farms. In order to eliminate competition for grazing against their cattle, farmers also slaughter wild capybaras.

19. They are unable to make their own Vitamin C

More precisely, unlike other animals, their systems are unable to convert the proteins and molecules into Vitamin C. They must consume food that already contains Vitamin C, such as fruits, in order to obtain it.

20. Capybaras may be finicky about their diet

They often graze on grass and water plants, as well as fruits and tree bark. Having said that, capybaras have particular tastes when it comes to eating, which leads to the selecting plants they enjoy. Capybaras also eat different vegetation during the dry season than they do during the rainy season. Capybaras, for example, quit eating grass during the dry season and instead munch on reeds. They also eat more diversified food during the dry season than they do during the rainy season.

21. Their habits are always changing

Their daily routine might change depending on the occasion. Capybaras will spend most of the day immersed in the muck to remain cool, with only their noses sticking out to breathe. When the temperature drops in the afternoon, they emerge from the muck and begin grazing till dusk. They then take a snooze until after midnight, when they wake up to resume grazing until daylight. They return to the muck to resume their everyday activities.

22. distinctive mating habits

When mating season arrives, a female’s fragrance changes. Males are able to detect this alteration, which alerts them to the start of mating season. Females use whistling through their nostrils as another vocal cue to males that they are ready to mate. Capybaras mate in the water, and the female invites the male by dipping herself in. She will, however, depart if a man she doesn’t like tries to swim with her as a sign of rejection. In a group of capybaras, dominant males often attract more females than inferior males, but this does not prevent them from mating. Only female capybaras have the freedom to decide when and with whom to mate.

*Some more interesting facts:

23. Unlike the majority of rodents, capybaras are unable to keep food in their front paws while they are eating.

24. In the Brazilian Tupi language, the name “capybara” means “one who eats slender leaves.”

25. Capybara juveniles are not proficient swimmers. As a result, they frequently stay on land and find protection in bushes.

26. They have a reputation for sitting in a dog-like manner on their haunches.

27. Capybaras are very easy to teach. There is a documented instance of a blind guy utilizing this animal in Surinam.

28. Young capybaras are known to continuously make a guttural purring sound.

29. Capybaras have two different smell glands, one on their noses called a morrillo and the other under their tails.

30. The diminutive skulls of capybaras contrast with their big, hefty, barrel-shaped bodies.


The startling facts about the capybara have already been reported. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, the Capybara is widespread and locally plentiful across its range, but there is no estimate of its overall population. It should be noted that this species is currently classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List.

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