Capybara

Capybara

Latin name: Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris

The Largest Rodent!

  • It is the world's largest rodent, weighing up to 79 kg (174 lbs). It has slightly webbed feet, its eyes and nostrils are located on top of its head and is an excellent swimmer!
  • A group's dominant male can be easily identified by the large shiny black gland atop its nose. It protrudes more during mating season. By rubbing its snout on the stem of plants, the male leaves a whitish secretion produced by this gland.
  • In caiman-infested waters, the young swim in very tight groups and the females escort their young in the front and back to protect them from predators.
  • The word “capybara” means "grass eater" in Guarani, one of the languages spoken by indigenous South American peoples.
  • Once hunted for its meat and leather, it has undergone a drastic decline. In the late Seventies, Argentina exported nearly 80,000 hides. It is now protected in several areas.
  • Distribution

    S. & C. America

  • Habitat

    Tropical forests and prairies

  • Diet

    Herbivore

  • Status

    Least concern

  • Zoo Zone

    The Temple (outside)