Thursday, July 7, 2011


Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris
Meet the world's largest rodent: the Capybara! These huge members of the Cavy family can grow to weigh over 150lbs! Like all Cavys, Cabybaras hail from South America where they live a semi-aquatic lifestyle.

Capybaras are very social creatures, and live in small groups that typically number up to 20 individuals. Each group is led by a dominant male, and contains several females, offspring, and subordinate males. Only the dominant male is allowed to mate with the females, though their status is sometimes challenged by the other males, which results in a charging and rearing scuffle.

The Capybara is an herbivore, and feeds off of grasses and various aquatic plants. They can eat up to 8lbs (3.6kg) of grass every single day!

Capybaras can live up to 10 years in the wild, but they are preyed upon by a whole mess of creatures, including jaguars, snakes, and even people! During Lent, the Catholic Church in Venezuela allows its followers to consume Capybara. One rationale for this is that these semi-aquatic mammals are considered to be honorary fish, which can be consumed during the religious period.

IUCN Status :  Least Concern
Location : South America
Size : Body length 4ft (1.2m), Weight up to 140lbs (63.5kg)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Mammalia -- Order : Rodentia
Family: Caviidae -- Genus : Hydrochoerus -- Species: H. hydrochaeris

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