Surname: Water pig
Other names: Capybara
Latin name: Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris
size: 1 - 1.3m
mass: 50 - 65kg
Older: 6 - 10 years
Appearance: brown-gray coat
Sexual dimorphism: No
Nutrition type: Herbivore (herbivor)
food: Water plants, roots, grasses
distribution: South America
original origin: South America
Sleep-wake rhythm: twilight active
habitat: near the water
natural enemies: Caiman, jaguar, snakes, birds of prey
sexual maturity: occurs during the second year of life
mating season: possible all year round
gestation: 110 - 150 days
litter size: 1 - 8 pups
social behavior: Herd animal / solitary
Threatened with extinction: No
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.
Interesting about the capybara
- The capybara, Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris or Capybara, describes the world's largest representative of rodents, closely related to guinea pigs.
- It is only native to South America, where it is found from Argentina to Panama.
- Capybara colonize different habitats and are found in wetlands and wet grasslands as well as rainforests, savannas and loose forests.
- Since the water pig lives semiaquatically, it always stays in close proximity to waters.
- This mammal, also known as a giant camp, reaches head-trunk lengths of up to 130 centimeters and weighs up to 65 kilograms, with females larger and heavier than males.
- The name water hog owes this rodent its stocky and round stature, which is reminiscent of those of a pig.
- The body of the boar is covered with a sparse and bristly, reddish brown to yellowish brown fur.
- The water pig has long legs and a round skull with slightly protruding eyes and tiny round ears.
- It is perfectly adapted to the semiaquatic way of life with webbed toes.
- Capybaras are dusk-active and live in herds, which can comprise up to thirty animals and consist of a single male, several females and young animals.
- Those males who have not established a family association live as loners.
- The male mates with several females of his harem. During this time, a scent gland forms on its snout, which exudes a musky odor.
- After a gestation period of four to five months, the females give birth to several young animals, which are fully developed and accompany their mother already hours after birth. At the age of four months at the latest, they are weaned and expelled.
- The water hog feeds mainly on aquatic plants, tree roots and herbs, but does not disdain agricultural products such as rice, melons or sugar cane.
- On the shore, capybaras find sheltered and well-hidden places to retreat to during the day.
- Many capybaras fall victim to caimans and jaguars, but are also hunted as a meat supplier by humans intensely.
- If capybaras feel threatened, they always flee into the water.
- The life expectancy of the boar is about ten years.