What do you call a Guinea Pig that's the size of a family dog? A capybara! We can't get enough of these giant rodents and when you've read this, you'll love 'em too!
1. They’re massive!
Capybaras are native to South America. They’re the largest rodents in the world and closer in size to an adult Labrador than they are to their closest relative, the Guinea Pig. Capybaras can grow to be 130cm long and 60cm tall.
2. They’ve got big appetites
Capybara means ‘grass eater’ and they can get through 8lb of the stuff every day. Herbivores, they’ll happily chow down on grains, fruit and corn too. Capybaras also eat their own poo, but we won’t hold that against them.
3. They’re excellent swimmers
Semi-aquatic, Capybaras love the water. They’re fantastic swimmers – and divers. Look at this guy go! They can stay under the water for five minutes, which helps keep them safe from predators.
4. They’re friendly
Capybaras are known as gregarious animals, which means they love hanging out together. An average size group can be 10-20, but it can be as large as 100! We want an invite to that party.
5. They’re popular
It’s not just their own species that they’re popular with. Capybaras are placid and seem to get along with many members of the animal kingdom – like this chap, hanging out with his spider monkey mates. But some animals aren’t after their friendship… Jaguars, anacondas and even eagles are amongst their prey.
6. The females rule
While male Capybaras head up the herd, it’s the ladies that are in charge when it comes to lurve. They mate in water, and if a female spies a suitor swimming over she doesn’t like the look of, she’ll duck under the surface, or get out of the pool. No messing!
7. The babies are adorable
Talking of mating, this is the result. The average Capybara pregnancy will result in four babies. Four really, really cute babies. Just look at them!