Wildlife in Serengeti-Park
Capybara | Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris
The water hog is the largest rodent on earth. It is a mammal of the guinea pig family (Caviidae). The Guarani Indians call it Capybara, which means “Lord of the grass”. It lives in South America (Panama, Colombia, Venezuela) and looks like a very large pig. Capybaras are up to 130 inches long, and their shoulder height reaches up to 60 centimeters. The females grow slightly larger than the males.
Now you are wondering how much such a water pig weighs? There is no difference in weight across the sexes as both can weigh about 50 – 60 kilograms. Capybaras have small and widely spaced nostrils. In male animals, the bridge of the nose is hairless and has a scent gland, which marks the area. Capybaras have very sharp claws. There are small webs between their toes, with which they can move well, as they normally spend a lot of time in the water. Their eyes, ears and nostrils are high on the head, therefore they can swim with their entire head almost below the water surface to avoid being spotted by predators. This large rodent feels well on lakes, rivers, wetlands and in mangrove forests. Capybaras feed on grass. In the Serengeti Park, they like to bathe by the spider monkey island and then dry in the sun. Capybaras can mate all year round. The female has one litter per year, the gestation period is around 110 days.