These excellent swimmers are the largest living rodent in the world! The common name, Capybara, is derived from the Tupi language spoken by aboriginal people in Brazil, which means ‘grass eater.’ They can be recognized by their reddish-brown fur on the upper part of the body, but they turn yellowish-brown around the belly. Their body is shaped like a barrel, and they have a short head.
True to their name, capybaras are herbivore that grazes mainly on aquatic plants and grasses. To compensate for the constant wear of teeth during grazing, their prominent front teeth grow continuously throughout their life. They are autocoprophagus which means they re-ingest their feces that contain bacterial gut flora to help digest cellulose in grass and extract maximum nutrients from their diet.
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Terrestrial / Aquatic
Altricial / Precocial
Polygamous / Monogamous
Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic
Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal
Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd
Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore
Migratory: Yes / No
Domesticated: Yes / No
Dangerous: Yes / No