About This Project

The world’s largest rodent!

The capybara looks like a giant guinea pig: it can grow to as much as 1.35 m in length and weigh 65 kg! Like all rodents, its long incisors keep growing throughout its life. It often goes into water, to get relief from the heat or to escape danger; it can remain underwater for up to 5 minutes. It has adapted to this environment: its feet are partly webbed and its eyes, ears and nostrils are near the top of its head, so it can see, hear and smell while it’s swimming!
At La Barben, the capybaras live with the South American tapirs.

Latin name: Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Cavidae
Size: 1.10 – 1.30 m long
Weight: 35 – 65 kg
Lifespan: 10 to 12 years
Gestation: 5 months
Number of young: 2 to 8, 4 on average.
Habitat: swamp
Diet: herbivorous (frugivorous)
Distribution: northern and eastern South America
Conservation status: not at risk