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Capybara

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Capybara Fast Facts

  • Location: North and Central South America
  • Habitat: Savannah, Rainforest
  • Lifespan: 7 Years
  • Diet: Grasses, Leaves, Pond Weed, Fruit
  • Length: 130cm
  • Weight: 35 - 70kg
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Overview

Meet Larry, Curly and Mo! Capybara are the world's largest rodent, and are essentially giant guinea pigs! They are semi-aquatic, spending most of their time in the waterways. Their wire-like fur dries quickly, along with their webbed feet and high-positioned ears, nostrils and eyes to allow their body to submerge with their head peeking out.

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Diet

Capybara are herbivores, they mainly graze on grasses, leaves, fallen fruit, pond weed, and their own faeces. This allows them to reabsorb digestive microbes required to eat tough grasses.

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Reproduction

Capybara live in social groups of a dominant male, females, young and subordinate males. Capybaras mate in the water. After a 5 month gestation, females give birth to four to five babies. The young are born fully-formed, and join the group where they are communally nursed by all the females. This ensures all the offspring are protected and cared for.

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Threats + Conservation

Capybara are classified as LEAST CONCERN on the IUCN Red List. Although they are thriving in the wild, they have been affected by hunting. Capybara are trapped for their meat and skin which is turned into leather. Hunting restrictions have been implemented to control the decline of the population.

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Fun facts

1. Capybara can eat up to 3.5kg of food per day. 2. As they are semi-aquatic, the church has categorised them as fish, and are allowed to be eaten on Sundays and during Lent. 3. They have four toes on their front feet and three on their hind feet.

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Capybara Gallery

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What shall we discover next?

Giant African Land Snail

East African Egg Eating Snake

Chickens

Hamerkop