Capybara sitting in wetlands

Capybara

Capybaras are the largest of the rodent species. Weighing as much as a man, these oversized, pig-like animals are highly adapted to an aquatic lifestyle and even mate in the water. Capybaras are found over much of South America. Efficient grazers, they are able to crop even the short, dry grasses left at the end of the dry season. They are capable of a range of vocalisations and can purr and bark. Like rabbits, they eat their own dung to extract maximum nutrition from their food.

Scientific name: Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris

Rank: Species

Watch video clips from past programmes (2 clips)

In order to see this content you need to have an up-to-date version of Flash installed and Javascript turned on.

Distribution

Map showing the distribution of the Capybara taxa

Species range provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

The Capybara can be found in a number of locations including: Amazon Rainforest, South America. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.

Habitats

The following habitats are found across the Capybara distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

Conservation Status

Least Concern

  1. EX - Extinct
  2. EW
  3. CR - Threatened
  4. EN - Threatened
  5. VU - Threatened
  6. NT
  7. LC - Least concern

Population trend: Unknown

Year assessed: 2008

Classified by: IUCN 3.1

Classification

  1. Life
  2. Animals
  3. Vertebrates
  4. Mammals
  5. Rodents
  6. Cavies
  7. Hydrochoerus
  8. Capybara

Sounds

Video collections

Take a trip through the natural world with our themed collections of video clips from the natural history archive.

  • Nature's record breakers Nature's record breakers

    Animal kingdom record breakers - how fast can a cheetah run, how heavy is an elephant and what's bigger than a dinosaur? Watch amazing video clips from the BBC archive and uncover the fascinating facts about our smallest primate, the longest stick insect and the most venomous snake.