The capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) is the largest extant rodent in the world. Its closest relatives are agouti, chinchillas, coyphillas, and guinea pigs.
Native to South America, the capybara inhabits savannas and dense forests and lives near bodies of water.
It is a highly social species and can be found in groups as large as 100 individuals, but usually lives in groups of 10–20 individuals.
The capybara is not a threatened species, though it is hunted for its meat and skin.
Adult capybaras grow to 107 to 134 cm (3.51 to 4.40 ft) in length, stand 50 to 64 cm (20 to 25 in) tall at the withers, and typically weigh 35 to 66 kg (77 to 150 lb), with an average in the Venezuelan llanos of 48.9 kg (108 lb).
The top recorded weight are 91 kg (200 lb) for a wild female from Brazil and 73.5 kg (162 lb) for a wild male from Uruguay.
All images © 2004-2014 by Walter Otto Koenig, Images may not be copied, downloaded, or linked. All rights reserved.