Capybara (Capivara)


Capivara Grazing

Swimming Water Pig?

A 140 pound rat? A water pig?  It’s swimming! Hum…what is it?  Brazil has some very interesting creatures that are rarely seen in North American and other countries.  The Brazilian Capivara known as the “Capybara” in the United States is indeed a rare and interesting site to many people.  Capivaras are the largest rodents in the world that can weigh as much as 140 pounds (65 kg).  A big fat rat that grows up to 4.3 feet (130 centimeters)?   Not exactly, the Capivara looks more like a big guinea pig but their fur is coarser and…. it swims!

The scientific name of the Capybara is Hydrochaeris means “water pig”.  Their name came from the Guarani Language which means “master of the grasses”.    Capybaras are found in the wild in South America.  They are considered a semi-aquatic mammal.  Capybaras hang out in groups near bodies of water such as rivers, lakes, ponds, marshes and swamps.  Capybaras are vegetarians and feed on a wide range of plant matter.  It is common to see them grazing on grass.  Adult capybaras will eat 6 – 8 pounds of grass per day.  Capybaras love swimming in water and can survive under water for up to five minutes.

Curitiba, Brazil located in the state of Parana has a park called Barigui.   It is very common to see Capybara swimming in the lake at Parque Barigui and also grazing on the grass as the photo below shows.

Capivara's by the lake

Capivara at Parque Barigui in Curitiba


Capybaras are even known to make terrific pets and great kissers!  Check out this video:

Brought to you by: World Cup Brazil 2014

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