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  4. Capybara


Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris

The capybara is the world’s largest rodent. It is also called ‘water pig’ as it likes being in the water. Eyes, nose and ears sit high up on its head enabling it to breathe and find its way while being almost covered in water. The web between its toes makes it a good swimmer and it can dive for several minutes in order to avoid predators.

During the cool morning and evening hours, the capybara leaves the water to search for food or find a place to rest overnight. Capybaras can live alone or in groups of up to 30 individuals and a single dominant male.

Hunting is the biggest threat to capybaras as its skin can be used for leather and its meat
is edible.

Grass and aquatic plants
South America
Life expectancy
10 years
50-70 kg
Gestation period
120 days
IUCN status
Least concern (LC)