Capybara

Capybara Introduction

The capybara is a large species of rodent locate in central and south america. They have short but sturdy limbs and hoof-like claws on their toes which along with the webbing, helps the capybara both when negotiating the slippery banks and with swimming and also prevents the capybara from sinking too deeply into the surrounding mud. Being alert is important when you’re often dinner for jaguars, pumas, and, in the water, caimans. Capybara young have even more to worry about—they are a favorite snack food of snakes like the boa constrictor, crab-eating foxes, small cats, and birds of prey like the caracara and black vulture. Along with the seasons, the presence of predators affects what time of day capybaras are active—which may be day or night, and is often at dawn and dusk. Like other rodents, capybaras’ teeth grow continuously, and they wear them down by grazing on aquatic plants, grasses, and other plentiful plants. They also eat their own feces in the morning. That’s when their poo is protein rich from the high number of microbes digesting the previous day’s meals. Because the grasses they eat are so hard to digest, eating their waste essentially allows them to digest it twice.

Keywords to learn

Caracara: a large New World bird of prey of the falcon family, with a bare face and a deep bill, feeding largely on carrion

Graze: (of an animal) feed on (grass or grassland)


About Me

Hey Kids, my name is Cameron the Capybara and I am very happy to meet you. Learn more about me and my species https://www.kids.nationalgeographic.com

 

Key Data

  • Order:
    Rodentia.
  • Lifespan:
    8 – 10 years.
  • Class:
    Mammalia.
  • Scientific name:
    Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris.
  • Mass:
    30kg – 70kg (66lbs – 154lbs).
  • Length:
    100cm – 130cm (39in – 51in).
  • Region Found:
    Central and South America.
  • Population Status:
    Least concern.
  • Current population trend:
    Stable.
  • Diet:
    Herbivorous.
  • Sexual maturity:
    17 – 19 months.

 

As you have learned, the capybara is the largest rodent in the world an is the most preferred prey for anacondas and big cats. Poor capybara!

 

Now that you know more about the capybara by learning the key data above, be sure to also to check out the fun facts. When you are finished learning the facts, try answering the questions in the Q&A corner on the bottom right side of the page.

 

 

Download questions about the capybara here: Capybara (answers are on this page)

 

Teachers. For more in depth work sheets on capybara. Click on Kidskonnect. Worksheets

 

 

Capybara Fun Facts for Kids

  • # 1.  The capybara is the world’s largest rodent.
  • # 2. Capybaras don’t mind being alone, but they also live in groups of up to 40.
  • # 3. There is a small population of invasive capybaras in Florida.
  • # 4. Capybaras breeding season varies throughout the year depending on what habitat they live in and the availability of mates. Females usually have one litter of four to five young per year.
  • # 5. Though considered to have a stable population overall, in some areas capybaras are severely threatened by people who hunt them for their skin, and some local populations have been wiped out.

Q&A Corner

  • # 1. Name two predators of the capybara?
  • # 2. What is the diet of the capybara?
  • # 3. What is the average weight of the capybara?
  • # 4. How many capybaras will live together?
  • # 5. Where is the capybara an invasive species?

Comments

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