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Where Capybaras Live And Where Their Name Came From:

Capybaras are the largest rodents. They got their name from native people in South America. The word capybara means "master of the grass". They live in South America in these locations: Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, and Guiana.

Size, Weight, Life Span, etc.:

Capybaras look like a very large hairy water pig. Capybaras have short legs, a thick body, small eyes, and blunt snout. The tailbone sticks out but you can't actually see the tail. Capybaras weigh 60-140 pounds, are 2 feet at the shoulder, 48-52 inches long, and live from 8-10 years in the wild. Baby capybaras weigh about two pounds, have fur, and can see at birth. At around 15 months of age a capybara is full grown and starts to mate. Baby capybaras drink milk from their mom. Each female can have about 6 babies a year. They mate almost any time of the year, but some capybaras mate before the rainy season. Capybaras live in groups of about twenty. In the dry season they form large groups of up to 40 capybaras in one herd around one pond.

Feeding Habits:

Capybaras like to gnaw on hard things like wood and nuts. They have very hard teeth that grow bigger, then get worn down every day. Capybaras usually eat aquatic plants, grains, and fruit.

Swimming Information:

Capybaras can run very fast and can swim very well; they have webbed feet like frogs. If they are chased they can out run their enemy by jumping and flat out running. Once they get to water they can just jump in and swim away with just their nostrils, eyes, and ears above the water. Sometimes a capybara dives all the way to the bottom of the water. A capybara is hard to see when it is under water.

Hair And Skin:

Capybaras have very soft guard hairs, but they are so far apart that in some spots you can a see the skin. If they don't stay cool by swimming and wallowing, their skin can crack and dry out which is bad because it will peel off and the capybara can get infected.

Predators And Defense:

Like almost any other animal, the capybara's main predators are humans. Humans hunt capybaras for meat, their fur, and because they destroy crops and gardens. Their other predators are jaguars, caimans, and snakes like anacondas which usually eat small capybaras. When capybaras see their predators coming they lunge into the water. Sometimes when a capybara sees an anaconda and lunges into they water the anaconda will go in after it.


Capybaras share their habitat with many other animals like water birds, huge water snakes called anacondas, marsh deer, giant otters, anteaters, parrots, jaguars, and caimans. Capybaras live in the forest and on grasslands; they usually live in thick places like lakes, rivers, swamps, marshes, and streams. They do not dig burrows. They make little beds in shallow parts of dirt.

Showing Who Is Boss:

Full grow capybaras have white bumpy glands on the top of their snouts. Their glands ooze out white fluid that is oily. When capybaras mate the male capybara will rub the fluid from his glands onto plants. Then he'll rub the smell on to his body to show who is boss.


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