Animal Database

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Animal Database
Animal Database
Range South America
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Rodentia
Family Caviidae
Genus Hydrochoerus
Species Hydrochoerus Hydrochaeris
Conservation Status
Least Concern

The Capybara is a species of the Hydrochoerus Genus. It lives in Eastern South America. The word "capybara" comes from Spanish capibara which was borrowed from Portuguese capivara which is from Old Tupi kapi'iûara meaning "capybara". It is pronounced "KAPP-uh-bar-uh". It's scientific name is hydrochoerus hydrochaeris and genetically, it's closest relative is the guinea pig.


Classification and phylogeny[]

Capybaras are a distinctly large species of rodent, automatically making it a member of rodentia. It's closest relative is the domestic guinea pig and other close relatives include maras and agoutis.


Capybaras have heavy, barrel-shaped bodies and short heads with reddish-brown fur on the upper part of their body that turns yellowish-brown underneath. The sweat glands of the capybara can be found in its haired skin surface, an unusual trait among rodents.[1][2] The same characteristics apply to the Capybara plush.


Capybaras usually live in swampy grasslands, wetlands or riverside jungles. They are semi-aquatic and go into water for up to and even more than 4 hours a day. The animals largely feed off grass, bark and water-reeds which proves helpful when living in wetlands which is full of grass and water-reeds. Capybaras are reknowned for being friendly and sociable with other species such as wading birds, parrots, tapirs, maras, pelicans and even humans. Due to their sociability, capybaras are common in zoos and in some places, can be owned as pets.


  1. ^ Reid, F. (2016). "Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T10300A22190005. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-2.RLTS.T10300A22190005.en. Retrieved 1 May 2017.
  2. ^ ^ Capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) Archived 2012-01-03 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Ferreira, A. B. H. (1986) Novo Dicionário da Língua Portuguesa, 2nd ed., Rio de Janeiro: Nova Fronteira, p.344
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  12. ^ Capybara Archived 2012-01-03 at the Wayback Machine, Arkive
  13. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e Capybara Facts. Smithsonian National Zoological Park. Retrieved on December 16, 2007.
  14. ^ Jump up to:a b c Capybara. Palm Beach Zoo. Retrieved on December 17, 2007.
  15. ^ World Association of Zoos and Aquariums. WAZA. Retrieved on 2011-12-07.
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  18. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g Bristol Zoo Gardens (UK) ''Capybara'' Archived 2007-09-18 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved on 2011-12-07.
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  26. ^ Jump up to:a b c Capybara. Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris. San Francisco Zoo
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  29. ^ Burton M and Burton R. (2002) The International Wildlife Encyclopedia. Marshall Cavendish, ISBN 0-7614-7269-X, p. 384
  30. ^ Capybara, the master of the grasses: pest or prey Sounds and Colours. Retrieved on January 23, 2011.
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  37. ^ Thompson, Andy (January 18, 2008) Trip to South America gives new meaning to outdoors life. Richmond Times.
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  41. ^ Ellsworth, Brian (March 24, 2005). "In Days Before Easter, Venezuelans Tuck Into Rodent-Related Delicacy". New York Sun.
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