You may not know its name, but you’ve probably seen photos of it soaking in hot springs on social media. This “giant hamster,” or capybara, is a favorite among zoogoers and animal experts alike. Here are some amusing facts about these charming creatures.
They are big.
As the world’s largest rodent, adult capybaras weigh around 50 kg. That’s as heavy as some humans! They average about 1.2 m in length and are up to 60 cm tall. Despite their size, they are fast runners that can reach speeds of up to 35 km an hour.
They love the water.
Capybaras spend a lot of time in water. Their webbed toes help them move quickly through the water, and they can also stay underwater for up to five minutes at a time to avoid predators. Capybaras have even been known to sleep in the water to prevent getting sunburned.
They’re highly social animals.
Capybaras generally live in groups of between 10 and 20. Moreover, capybaras enjoy making friends with other animal species . . . and sometimes the capybaras’ new friends use them as furniture! It’s not uncommon to see monkeys, rabbits, birds, and even other capybaras resting on a capybara’s back while it eats.