Go to section navigationGo to content
National Zoo | Friends of the National Zoo logo
 
Visit Animals, etc. About Us Activities & Events Conservation & Science Education Publications Join FONZ Support the Zoo Shop
Amazonia
Home | Animals, etc. | Amazonia | Facts
capybara
Amazonia Habitat Exhibit
Amazonia Science Gallery
Conservation and Science
Amazonia Facts
Amazonia Photo Gallery
Glimpses of Amazonia
Related Resources

Tropical Ecosystems Research

Rodents at the Zoo

Acouchi
American Beaver
Black-tailed Prairie Dog
Bush Squirrel
Capybara
Chinchilla
Naked Mole-rat
Patagonian Mara
Prehensile-tailed Porcupine
Rock Cavy


book: Neotropical Migratory Birds
Neotropical Migratory Birds by R.M. DeGraaf & J.H. Rappole
Zoo Store Online


Capybara Facts

Order: Rodentia
Family: Hydrochoeridae
Genus and Species: Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris

Capybara are the largest rodents in the world. Three male capybaras live at the Zoo's Elephant House.

capybara

Description: Capybaras have heavy, barrel-shaped bodies with short heads. Their fur is reddish brown on the upper parts and yellowish brown underneath. Adult capybaras may be as long as 130 centimeters (more than four feet) and 50 centimeters (1.6 feet) tall, and weigh more than 100 pounds.

Range and Habitat: The capybara is found in Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, the Guyanas and Peru, south through Brazil, Paraguay, northeast Argentina, and Uruguay. Semi-aquatic, they frequent dense vegetation surrounding lakes, rivers, swamps, marshes, and ponds.

Diet: The capybara is a grazing herbivore, eating mainly grasses and aquatic plants.

Behavior: Capybara are highly social and live in groups controlled by a dominant male.

Conservation Status: Capybara populations are considered stable through much of their range, but hunting in some areas has reduced their numbers.

Fun Fact: Capybara dive and may remain underwater for as long as five minutes.

 

 
Celebrate
Slow and Steady Sloths

Maned Wolves at the Zoo

Behind the Scenes at Amazonia

Study

Spotlight on Vet Medicine: Sloth Standards

Trekking Rainforest Treetops

Amazon GIS

Protect

Golden Lion Tamarin Conservation Program

Migratory Bird Center

Lure of a Green Eden

Southern Exposure


FONZ visa


For Visitors Educators Scientists Students Kids Families Members Volunteers Donors Job Seekers Media
Zoo E-news
African Savanna Amazonia Asia Trail Asian Elephants Backyard Biology Birds Giant Pandas Great Apes and Other Primates Great Cats Invertebrates Kids' Farm North America Ocean Living Reptiles and Amphibians Small Mammals Help SiteMap Contact Smithsonian Privacy Policy Copyright Policy