Capybaras (Hydrochoerus spp.) Fact Sheet, 2008
Capybara, Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris
Describer (Date): Linnaeus (1766)
Species: Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris (capybara)
Body Weight: 48.9 kg (108 lbs); record 91 kg (200 lbs)
Body Length: 106-134 cm (42 to 53 in)
Pelage: Long, coarse, sparse, reddish-brown
|Distribution & Status||Behavior & Ecology|
Range: Panama to NE Argentina (northern South America east of Andes) for H. hydrochaeris.
Habitat: Lowland grassy areas bordering rivers, ponds, lakes; need open water and dry land
IUCN Status: Least Concern ver 3.1
CITES Appendix: Not listed
Locomotion: One basic gait: a pace with 3 feet on the ground; good swimmers
Activity Cycle: Grazing late afternoon, evening, night; rest during morning; spend hot hours of the day in water
Social Groups: Highly social; up to 100 individuals at water in dry season
Diet: Selective grazers; prefer several species of native grasses
Predators: Jaguars, puma, foxes, bush dogs, feral dogs, ocelots, caiman (alligator), birds of prey, and humans
|Reproduction & Development||Species Highlights|
Gestation: 150 days
Litter Size: 4 to 5 pups
Birth weight: 1,500 grams (3.3 lbs)
Age at Weaning: About 16 weeks
Feature Facts: Excellent swimmer with slightly webbed feet; can stay underwater up to 5 minutes
San Diego Zoo: A San Diego Zoo capybara named Caba formed an unusual friendship with a feral cat in 1944; the two often rested together & groomed
About This Fact Sheet
© 2008-2015 San Diego Zoo Global. Updated 2015.
How to cite: Capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) Fact Sheet, 2008. c2008-2015. San Diego (CA): San Diego Zoo Global; [accessed YYYY Mmm dd]. http://ielc.libguides.com/sdzg/factsheets/capybara.
(Note: replace YYYY Mmm dd with date accessed, e.g., 2015 Sep 10)
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