What’s not to love about the capybara? The overgrown guinea pig may be the largest rodent in the world, but you should give more than a rat's a** about it. Cute capybaras and their super chill demeanor litter countless Pinterest boards, showing off their swimming skills for the world to fawn over. However, the capybara's cuteness is but only one reason why you should care about the water hog. Spread across the continent of South America, capybaras form large communities and socialize freely with other animals. As animal parents, they help teach their young how to swim, and the whole group acts as their protectors. And when it comes to mating, let's just say the capybara isn't shy about its sexuality.
The following facts about capybaras might just change your opinion of this incredible creature. If you ever wondered what lies underneath the furry exterior of the cutest exotic animal on the Internet - yeah, suck it, baby bats - these amazing capybara facts will point you toward the answer.
Though the majority of their lives will ultimately be spent in the water, newborn capybaras are not very good swimmers. As a result, they spend their first several months living near the water, hidden by large brush.
The entire capybara group works to nurse the young and protect them from harm. Baby capybaras nurse on every female in the community, and beta males work to stay vigilant to protect the group from harm.
Unlike most members of the rodent family, capybaras’ heads are flat and square-shaped. The females tend to be a little larger than the males, but in general they reach approximately the same physical size.
Capybaras can reach about four feet long and about 20 inches tall. Within that relatively small frame, capybaras pack a lot of density, weighing up to 175 pounds.
When comfortable in their environment, capybaras act as crepuscular animals. This means they’re most often active at dawn and dusk, sleeping through the heat of the day and hiding out at night.
Should they feel as though a threat is present, capybaras can also convert to completely nocturnal behavior in which they eat and socialize entirely at night.
After living among marshes and swamps, Capybaras have evolved to thrive in aquatic environments. Their skin needs to be kept constantly moist and their daily diet consists primarily of aquatic plants.
Also known as water hogs, wild capybaras sleep along river banks and streams. They’re often found in dense vegetation, a preference that keeps them cool and hides them from predators.