<< Previous Next >>


Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2013-09-18
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Nikon D90, Sigma 135-400mm f/4.5-5.6 APO, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/1000 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2014-07-04 6:19
Viewed: 1621
Points: 32
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
On a lot of places in the Pantanal you can see Capybaras. Always near water. For me it looks like boring animals. They don’t move a lot, stand still when you come closer and look lazy all the time. But they are capable of running as fast as a horse and fascinating they are!

Capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris, also known as capibara, chigüiro and carpincho in Spanish, and capivara in Portuguese) is the largest living rodent in the world. It is related to agouti, chinchillas, coyphillas, and guinea pigs. Its common name, derived from Kapiÿva in the Guarani language, means "master of the grasses" while its scientific name, hydrochaeris, is Greek for "water hog".

Capybaras have heavy, barrel-shaped bodies and short heads with reddish-brown fur on the upper part of their body that turns yellowish-brown underneath. Adult capybaras may grow to 130 cm. and 50 cm. tall, weighing up to 65 kg . Capybaras have slightly webbed feet, no tail, and 20 teeth.; their back legs are slightly longer than their front legs and their muzzles are blunt with eyes, nostrils, and ears on top of their head. Females are slightly heavier than males.
Though now extinct, there once existed larger capybaras that were eight times the size of modern capybaras (these rodents would have been larger than a grizzly bear). There is also a "lesser capybara", Hydrochoerus isthmius.

Capybaras reach sexual maturity within 18 months and breed when conditions are right, which can be once per year (such as in Brazil) or throughout the year (such as in Venezuela and Colombia). The male pursues a female and mounts when the female stops in water. Capybara gestation is 130–150 days and usually produces a litter of four capybara babies, but may produce between two and eight in a single litter. Birth is on land and the female will rejoin the group within a few hours of delivering the newborn capybaras, who will join the group as soon as they are mobile. Within a week the young can eat grass, but will continue to suckle - from any female in the group - until weaned at about 16 weeks. Youngsters will form a group within the main group. The rainy season of April and May mark the peak breeding season. Like other rodents, the front teeth of capybaras grow continually to compensate for the constant wearing-down from eating grasses; their cheek teeth also grow continuously. When fully grown, a capybara will have coarse hair that is sparsely spread over their skin, making the capybara prone to sunburn. To prevent this, they may roll in mud to protect their skin from the sun.
Capybara have an extremely efficient digestive system that sustains the animal while 75% of its diet encompasses only 3-6 species of plants.

Capybara are semi-aquatic mammals found wild in much of South America (including Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, French Guyana, Uruguay, Peru, and Paraguay) in densely forested areas near bodies of water, such as lakes, rivers, swamps, ponds and marshes, such as flooded savannah and along rivers in tropical forest. They roam in home ranges of 10–20 ha.

Capybara is an herbivore (more specifically, a graminivore), grazing mainly on grasses and aquatic plants, as well as fruit and tree bark. An adult capybara will eat 2.7 to 3.6 kg of grasses per day. Capybara's jaw hinge is non-perpendicular and they thus chew food by grinding back and forth rather than side-to-side.
Capybaras are coprophagous, meaning they eat their own feces as a source of bacterial gut flora and in order to help digest the cellulose in the grass that forms their normal diet and extract the maximum protein from their food. Additionally, they may regurgitate food to masticate the food again, similar to cud-chewing by a cow.
Capybaras will not follow the same route while grazing on consecutive days.

Capybaras are social animals, usually found in groups, between 10 and 30 (though looser groups of up to 100 sometimes can be formed), controlled by a dominant male (who will have a prominent scent gland on his nose used for smearing his scent on the grasses in his territory.) They communicate through a combination of clicks, squeals and grunts.
Capybaras are excellent swimmers and can survive completely underwater for up to five minutes, an ability they will use to evade predators. If necessary, a Capybara can sleep underwater, keeping its nose just at the waterline.
During midday, as temperatures increase, Capybaras wallow in water to keep cool and then graze in late afternoons and early evenings. They sleep little, usually dozing off and on throughout the day and grazing into and through the night.

Capybara are not on the IUCN list and so not considered a threatened species; their population is stable through most of their South American ranges, though in some areas hunting has reduced their numbers. They have a lifespan of 4-8 years in the wild but average a life less than four years as they are "a favourite food of anacondas, jaguar, puma, ocelot, eagle and caiman".
Capybaras are hunted for their meat and pelts in some areas, and otherwise killed by humans who see their grazing as competition for livestock. The skins are particularly prized for making fine gloves because of its odd characteristic—it stretches in just one direction. In some areas they are farmed, which has the effect of insuring that the wetland habitats are protected. Their survival is aided by their ability to breed rapidly.

Source: Different sources internet

Hotelcalifornia, bluesky1975, Pitoncle, aruntp, ramthakur, imageme, oscarromulus has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To iti: CapybaraPeterZ 1 07-05 02:43
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

Ciao Peter, great capture of cute creature, wonderful natural colors, fine details and splendid sharpness, very well done, my friend, have a good week end, ciao Silvio

Hello Peter-Precise and useful NOTE.I have seen this species in ANIMAL PLANET.Nice to see it again.Very well captured.The way walking looks very calm.Beautiful picture Peter.Thanks for sharing.Regards and have a nice WE-Srikumar

hallo peter
Super mooie en scherpe opname
de details en kleuren zijn weer prachtig
blijft een leuk beest
gr lou

Hi Peter,

A very docile & innocuous little creature I would say. Generally, animals tend to be pretty shy & doesn't really come out of their habitat that easily. Thanks for sharing us the picture of this little known animal.

A lovely capture with the fine details & surroundings.

Warm Regards,

Bonsoir Peter,
Une bien belle rencontre harmonieusement restituée dans une belle lumière et sous une bonne profondeur de champ.
A bientôt sur TN pour de nouvelles aventures.

Great shot of the capybara Peter! I have pictures of these but everywhere I went they seemed to be very camera shy so I have not yet been able to get them out in the open like yours yet. I'll just have to keep on trying.

Boa noite Peter
Great capture of this species in splendid sharpness and clarity.Well done MF!!
Have a good weekend and thank You.

  • Great 
  • aruntp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 590 W: 1 N: 357] (5379)
  • [2014-07-04 22:27]

really a wonderful creature. nice angle and well taken image. i love the lighting also. tfs.

  • Great 
  • iti Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 577 W: 0 N: 650] (7939)
  • [2014-07-05 2:26]
  • [+]

Hi Nikos,
Fantastic shot of a beautiful Capybaras. Amazing colors,good composition and sharpness details.
Nice pose,as a model.
Regards Jiri.

Hard to believe a rodent can attain such gigantic size, Peter.
You have added another gem to TN with this superb picture from Brazil.
What fine details on the hairy body of this curious rodent!

Good work...

Ciao Peter,
照的清晰 很漂亮的水獭
顏色鮮豔華麗 很新奇
光線亮麗 照的非常的细腻
構圖美麗 背景深遂

  • Great 
  • senn Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 58 W: 2 N: 155] (1384)
  • [2014-07-07 2:03]

superb capture with splendid fur detail Peter, .. well posed and captured; .. TFS



Ciao Peter. Very well done the pleasant Capiybara. Excellent details/sharp. Beautiful colours.


Hi Peter, Lovely animal with very cute face. Perfect focus with fantastic sharpness and details. Love his pose. Best regards

These are "PRIZED" notes. You have a very special skill in the presentation of your notes.
In the photo this Capybara looks quite majestic.
I still have a pair of gloves from Brazil made from its pelt.
Though I've lived in Brazil I've never ever seen this species in the wild; only in the Manaus zoo.
GREAT WORK you do!!!
Best and most kind regards,

Calibration Check