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A capybara group (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris)


Northwich, United Kingdom

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Wall Art


Artist's Description

In black ball point pen and acrylic paint on paper

The world’s largest rodent (related to rats and mice). They weigh in at around 55 kg. The capybara’s stocky body has a length of about a metre and a height at the shoulder around 60 cm. It ranges in colour from brown to reddish and has tough skin, which is sometimes used to make high quality leather. The eyes and ears are high on the head so they can easily be kept above water when swimming.

The capybara is semi-aquatic, living in grassy wetland areas or close to rivers. It carries out most of its activities on land, using water as a refuge where is swims and dives with ease. There are simple webs between the toes that help when swimming. They can hold their breath under water for only a few minutes, but can hide in water when necessary for much longer, with only their noses sticking out of the water. The hottest hours of the day are spent in the water and grazing is done in the mornings, evenings and at night.
The name capybara means ‘master of the grasses’ in the language of the Guarani Indians. Grasses are indeed the favourite food of this giant rodent. Like other rodents, the front teeth grow continuously to make up for the wear and tear of eating grasses.

Conservation news: They are hunted for their meat and skins, and killed by humans when grazing is seen as competition for livestock. In some areas they are farmed, which ensures the protection of the wetlands that they like to live in and all of the other creatures that live there too. Overall, their population seems to be stable. Their survival in the wild is assisted by the ability to breed rapidly.

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