Creature Features

Capybaras are short-haired brownish rodents with blunt snouts, short legs, small ears and almost no tail.

They normally feed in the morning and evening and spend most of the day resting under cover along the banks. Capybara are herbivores, and use their long, sharp teeth for grazing on grass and water plants. An adult capybara can eat 6-8 pounds of grass per day. During the dry season, when fresh grasses and water plants dry up, a capybara will eat reeds, grains, melons and squashes.

Up to 10 years in the wild, up to 12 years in captivity.

Fun Facts

  • Other names: Carpincho or water hog
  • Group name: Herd
  • Scientific Name: Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris
  • Body Length: 4.6 ft long, up to 2 ft high at shoulders
  •  Weight: 77-143 pounds
  •  Gestation: 100-110 days
  •  Number of young: 3-8 pups
  • Habitat: They roam the swampy, grassy regions bordering rivers and ponds
  • Distribution: Found in South America

Did You Know?

  • Capybaras are the world's largest rodents
  • Capybaras are amazing swimmers, with webbed feet that let them move quickly through the water. They can stay underwater for up to five minutes at a time, and press their ears against their heads to keep water out.
  • A capybara can sleep underwater by keeping its nose above the water line.