Why Do Animals Like Capybaras So Much? (Updated 2024)

capybara with other animals

Capybaras are the largest rodents in the world, and they’re native to Central and South America. These furry creatures look like a cross between a guinea pig and a beaver, and they weigh up to 140 pounds! Capybaras are gentle giants that live in groups of 10-20 individuals. They are mostly nocturnal and spend their days lounging in rivers and swimming.

Capybaras are herbivores that eat grass, leaves, fruits, and vegetables. They are gentle animals and are not known to be dangerous to humans.

What is a capybara?

The capybara is the largest rodent of the family, Hydrochoeridae, known as the Rodentia family.  It is closely related to guinea pigs and rock cavies, and it is more distantly related to the agouti, chinchillas, and porcupines. Native to South America, the semi-aquatic rodent inhabits savannas and dense forests and lives near bodies of water.

capybara with other animals

Capybara Behaviour

The capybara is a highly social animal and can be found in groups as large as 100 individuals, but it usually lives in small families consisting of a few adult capybaras with their capybara babies. Capybaras also live in herds led by a dominant male. Although the capybara is an herbivorous animal, also known as vegetarian, they are capable of eating small amounts of flesh if necessary. They are herbivores who can be found eating grasses, aquatic plants, fruits, and vegetables.

Capybaras are excellent swimmers who can remain completely submerged for up to five minutes which helps them elude predators. They are semi-aquatic mammals and can be found in captioned habitats such as tropical rainforests, swamps, marshes, and grilled areas. The Capybara is sometimes referred to as a “water pig” or “water hog” and is a much better swimmer than most other rodents. Their slightly webbed feet give them an advantage in the water, where they use them in combination with strong hind legs to paddle.

capybara with other animals

Where do capybaras live?

Capybaras are native to South America. They inhabit savannas and dense forests and live near bodies of water. They live near water in densely wooded areas and eat mainly plants; they are shy but social animals that form close bonds with other members of their group. Capybaras are found throughout much of South America, including Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru, French Guiana, Guyana, and Suriname. They also live in Panama and Trinidad and Tobago.

In some places, they are also called chigüire, tapera or carpincho. Capybaras are highly social animals that usually live in small families consisting of a few adult capybaras with their young. They hang out along grassy banks where they can easily access water and often eat grasses and aquatic plants.

capybara with other animals

What do capybaras eat?

Capybaras are herbivores whose diet consists primarily of grasses and other vegetation. They will also eat fruits, nuts, and roots when they are available. Capybaras may be fed a diet of pellets, hay, vegetables, and fruits in captivity. Capybaras weigh 35-66 kg and are 1 m long.

capybara with other animals

Are capybaras considered dangerous to humans?

Although they are generally peaceful animals, capybaras can be dangerous to humans if provoked. They have large teeth and powerful jaws and have been known to bite people who get too close. In addition, capybaras are powerful swimmers and have been known to drag people into the water where they are at risk of drowning. As a result, it is important to exercise caution when around capybaras. Although they are not typically aggressive, they can be dangerous if threatened.

capybara with other animals

Are capybaras dangerous to other animals?

They are very affectionate with each other and often groom each other. Capybara is also known to get along well with other species of animals, including dogs, cats, and birds. This is likely because they share many of the same social behaviors, such as living in groups and being affectionate. Sometimes referred to as “nature’s ottoman,” these friendly animals can be seen often with animals on their backs. This includes several bird species, monkeys, rabbits, and even other Capybaras.

capybara with other animals

Do Capybaras make good pets?

Capybaras are gaining popularity as pets in the United States as well. While capybaras make interesting and unique companions, there are some things to consider before bringing one home. For starters, capybaras are very large animals requiring a lot of space. They also need access to water at all times, so a swimming pool or pond is a must.

Additionally, capybaras are social animals and do best when they live in groups, so potential owners should be prepared to provide homes for multiple capybaras. Finally, capybaras are escape artists, so their enclosures must be secure. With proper care and attention, capybaras can make wonderful pets. However, potential owners should do their research before taking the plunge. They do have some gross habits such as eating their own poop and a tendency to regurgitate food. They are also very selective feeders and can often be difficult to manage diets for when you keep them in captivity, which isn’t ideal for their eating habits.

capybara with other animals

Is the Capybara an endangered species?

Capybaras are not currently listed as an endangered species by the IUCN, but they are hunted for their meat and fur in some parts of South America. They are very low on the list and there is no concern about them being endangered any time in the future. Their overall numbers are not falling, as they can be found all over South America. Still, whenever a particular species is hunted, they are considered a threatened species. Could they become extinct down the road in the future? Possibly, but for now, due to the fact that they breed rapidly and the population of capybaras will grow continually through many regions, it is not a concern.

capybara with other animals

What makes Capybaras so special?

They have webbed toes that help them move quickly through the water. Capybaras are also good climbers and can climb trees to escape predators. Their facial features located on top of their heads are how they are able to see and breathe while they are swimming. They have been known to sleep in the water quite often. They are constantly napping along marshes, rivers, and mangroves. After all, it is blazing hot in the Amazon.

While they love the water, Capybaras are extremely quick on their feet, reaching speeds to 35 kilometers an hour. This is almost as fast as a horse.

capybara with other animals

Baby capybaras

When capybaras are born (in the wild), they weigh only 1-2 pounds and are very vulnerable. Their mothers will nurse them for the first few months of their lives. But they can also suck from other females in the group. Capybaras, in large groups, share everything, including the mother’s care.

When babies are born in captivity, it is best not to take them away from their mothers before they reach two weeks of age. They will definitely require special attention in order to survive. A heated cage with plastic over the wire with some towels for warmth is necessary. The type of food you can give them varies, as they need their mother’s milk first. After a short period, warm milk and sugar can be added to some puppy chow for them to eat.

Even as babies, they will need a constant source of heat, so any heat lamp will work for this. A simple house type of enclosure to protect them from the elements, filled with hay, will work wonders. A reliable water source must be available, so a medium to large water pan is essential.

As babies, they will cry out a lot, and this is where you do your best to comfort them. They will bond with you much quicker with this approach, as it helps calm them down.

capybara with other animals

Capybaras as therapy animals

In recent years, capybaras have gained popularity as therapy animals. Capybara therapy typically involves interacting with the capybara in a calm and relaxed setting. The capybara’s gentle nature and quiet demeanor can help to lower stress levels and promote a sense of well-being. Capybaras have also been shown to increase social interaction and reduce anxiety in children with an autism spectrum disorder. As capybaras become more popular as therapy animals, they are likely to play an increasingly important role in promoting mental health and well-being. These plush friends have soft reddish brown fur that is fun to pet. Patients enjoy stroking all their fur as a way to calm down.

capybara with other animals

The intelligence of capybaras

In addition to their impressive physical abilities, capybaras also have a high level of intelligence. They have been shown to be capable of learning complex tasks, and they are able to remember the location of food sources over long periods of time. Capybaras are also very social animals, and they form strong bonds with other members of their group. The intelligence of capybaras makes them unique among rodents, and it is just one of the many reasons why these animals are so interesting.

Capybaras Why Do Animals Like Capybaras So Much? (Updated 2024)

Capybara Facts

There are a ton of interesting capybara facts that make them more fun to learn about than the average species!

  • Capybaras are social animals who communicate through body language, vocalizations, and scent marking. They find mates using only their noses.
  • Males are called “bucks” while females are called “does”.
  • It is always breeding season for the capybara. If nearby males begin pursuit, you could see a cavy family popping up soon after. A single litter may be revealing itself several times a year.
  • Capybara young are called “pups”.
  • Capybaras are one of the few animals that mate facing each other.
  • The gestation period for capybaras is 130 days and they usually give birth to two or four pups at a time.
  • Capybaras are large rodents native to South America that resemble guinea pigs or beavers.
  • They weigh up to 140 pounds and live in groups of 10-20 individuals.
  • Capybaras are nocturnal and spend their days lounging in rivers and swimming.
  • A Capybara has webbed toes to help them swim.
  • The capybara teeth never actually stop growing. The teeth of capybaras grow continually throughout their entire life.
  • These gentle giants can make wonderful pets, but potential owners should do their research and be aware of bad habits like eating their own feces and failure to chew food, which can often cause regurgitation of food.
  • Capybaras are not currently endangered, but they are hunted for their meat and fur in some parts of South America.
  • How long does a capybara live? Anywhere from 8-10 years on average, though in the wild it may be much less
  • Baby capybaras are born weighing only 1-2 pounds and require special care to survive.
  • Capybaras are social animals that communicate through body language, vocalizations, and scent marking.
  • Males are called “bucks” while females are called “does”. Baby capybaras are called “pups”.
  • You can see a group of Capybaras if you visit the San Diego Zoo, where the class mammalia is on display in the Elephant Odyssey Habitat.

If you’re thinking about adding a capybara to your family, do your homework first to ensure you’re prepared for this unique and special pet. We hope you enjoyed learning everything there is to know about capybara! These furry creatures are gentle and fascinating animals that are fun to watch and learn about.

capybara with other animals

Puppy loves to hang out with the capybaras

FAQS (Frequently Asked Questions)

Are capybaras friendly?

Yes, Capybara can reach lengths of about 4 feet and weigh over 100 pounds, but these giant rodents still enjoy interacting with people.

What is so special about capybaras?

They're so adaptable that they can even sleep submerged. Capybaras have been recorded as staying submerged for up to five minutes at a time, and it is not uncommon for them to fall asleep while swimming. Cooling off by napping in the shade of rivers, mangroves, and marshes.

Do capybaras bite?

Capybaras are generally timid and docile, but their bites can cause serious injury. Treatment for those who a capybara has attacked should include bandaging wounds, checking for internal injuries, vaccinating against tetanus and rabies, administering antibiotics as needed, and following up with the patient.

Is a capybara a guinea pig?

The capybara, which lives on grass and its waste, is a giant guinea pig. Originally from South America, where they spend their lives alternating between grasslands and water, these social, nearly cow-like creatures are migratory.

How expensive is a capybara?

Get your capybara from a reliable breeder if at all possible. These animals can be purchased for $1,000 to $3,000.