Like all rodents, their two front teeth, incisors, are constantly growing so they need to gnaw and chew to keep the growth down. Males and females look the same, however, males have a large scent gland on the top of the snout.
Capybaras are the largest rodent in the world. They are about 3 ½ to 4 ½ feet long, about 1 ½ foot tall and weigh from 59 to 174 pounds. They have long, coarse hair that is reddish-brown to grayish and is yellowish on the underside. They do not have a tail, their limbs are short and they have partially webbed digits with strong claws.
They are very social and gather near water in groups of up to 20 individuals. These groups usually include one dominant male, several adult females, their offspring and subordinate males.
They are most active at dusk and dawn but have become nocturnal in areas heavily populated by humans. They mostly sleep during the day but can be found wallowing in the mud during the hottest parts of the day. They communicate using whistles, whimpers, clicking noises and barks.
Capybara at the Akron Zoo
The capybara habitat is located in the Legends of the Wild area.
- Atlantis – female, born Sept. 6, 2012