Capybaras are the world’s largest rodent. They don’t look like the typical pests living in alleyways, though. Capybaras are as big as large dogs, have webbed feet and don’t have a tail.

Capybaras are from about 39 to 51 inches (100 to 130 centimeters) long and about 20 inches (50 cm) tall from foot to shoulder. They tend to weigh 60 to 174 lbs. (27 to 79 kilograms), depending on gender.

Interesting facts:

Capybaras can always be found living near bodies of water due to their semiaquatic lifestyle. Along the banks of the Amazon River, these murky waters harbor many threats for a Capybara, but life by the water is still the perfect spot to set up camp—allowing them to retreat quickly and escape from predators like anacondas, wild cats and even eagles.2 

Webbed feet help them to maneuver in water, and their facial features are located towards the top of their large heads to help them see and breathe while they swim.

Capybaras can dive and stay underwater for up to 5 minutes at a time—often falling asleep in the water whilst keeping their nose at the edge of the banks. 

While Capybaras feel at home by the water’s edge, they certainly know their way around the land, and are capable of reaching speeds of up to 35 kilometers an hour—that’s as fast as a horse!