The length of the capybara is approximately 4 feet and it's height is about 21 inches. The capybara's weight is 110 to 150 pounds. The capybara has a massive body set on short legs, and an oblong head extending from a short neck. This is the world’s largest rodent. Despite the great contrast in size, the capybara’s closest relative is the guinea pig. Male and female look alike, in coats of long, coarse reddish-brown, gray, or yellowish-brown hair. They have no tail. Water-loving, water-dwelling creatures, their scientific name means “water pigs”. They walk in digitigrade fashion (on their toes), and have 4 toes on the front feet and three on the hind feet, connected by short webbed membranes.The capybara’s response to danger is to run to water, where they display good swimming and diving abilities. Their predators on land are jaguars and cougars. In the water caimans are a threat. They are social animals, living in herds of 50 to 100.
Location: RainForest Aviary & Surrounding Exhibits
The range of the capybara is northern South America east of the Andes.
Capybaras inhabit dense vegetated marshes and swamps or wooded areas around lakes and rivers.
Gestation in capybaras is approximately 150 days..
Capybara litters average about 4 to 5.
The capybara’s response to danger is to run to water, where they display good swimming and diving abilities. Their predators on land are jaguars and cougars. In the water caimans are a threat. They are social animals, living in herds of 50 to 100. In captivity solitary life depresses them, and zoos must provide at least one companion for a captive animal.
Mating in capybaras takes place in water. The young are precocial, and any lactating female will nurse any hungry young one. They become sexually mature at 18 months.
Aquatic plants, grass, cereal, fruit, melons
Alfalfa hay, guinea pig chow, apples, vitamin supplement, bread