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  • Writer's pictureKirk

World’s Largest Rodent - The Capybara

Updated: Sep 25, 2023

What's an adventure trip without rodents? I'm sure you would agree. Nothing like those little critters scurrying around you to get your heart pumping. Or maybe they're not so little? Take a look at this rodent called the Capybara:

Capybara grazing along river bank.

The Capybara is labeled "The Friendliest Rodent in the World", although I didn't personally test that. They are known to warm up to even dogs and cats. Some people even keep them as pets,

They are also the largest rodent in the world. They can get 4 up to feet long and 2 feet high. The biggest ones can weigh over 170 lbs!

They mostly live in South America, although some have infiltrated Florida. Capybaras are considered a food delicacy in many parts of South America. Capybara burger anyone?

They mostly eat the grasses along the water banks as you see here. But they're also known to eat their own poop, possibly to hide the scent from predators. They also poop in the water for likely the same reason.

Capybaras can fall prey to the anaconda snake and jaguars in the area. The young can be taken by area eagles or other birds. Their infiltration into Florida is problematic as they have no natural predators. Population growth could threaten crops such as corn in my state.

I found this friendly beast grazing at Iguazu River near Iguazu Falls. He really paid me nor others any mind at all. He was content grazing the grass at the river banks paying no mind to potential threats. I guess when you're that big you feel kind of confident.

I remember seeing these at a zoo many years ago and being amazed at them. It was nice to see them in their natural habitat. I expect locals see them all the time and pay them no mind (unless they're hungry).

The walk along the waterway was abundant with wildlife.

Can you find the Plush Crested Jay in the tree?

The South American Coati

These animals were abundant here and showed little concern of passing tourists. There are many signs in the park informing not to engage with these docile looking creatures. They can inflict a serious bite!

They are members of the raccoon family and can be a park nuisance. They are notorious for getting into garbage and strewing it throughout the park. A big headache for park rangers.

I know there are many other inhabitants of this wonderful waterway including monkeys, the Azara Agouti (another rodent that looks like a small deer), anteaters, deer, as well as toucans and many other birds. But these are the only notable species I found on my afternoon walk along the river.

I'll leave you with a view of the Iguazu Falls. As I mentioned in this post, this is one of the three most impressive sites I have visited.

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