Critter Alley

Critter Alley

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Capy-mendous



Photo from the website of Caplin Rous

Last blog I mentioned an interesting story about anacondas that I saw on television. In some of the footage shown, I saw what looked like a herd of small hippos hanging around near the water. Upon closer inspection, I realized it wasn't hippos at all, but something else. Something rather strange-looking...best described as a long-faced guinea pig on growth hormones.

My husband, the wildlife aficionado, announced that the critters were called capybaras, and were the world's largest rodents. Rodent? Yes, as it turns out they're related to squirrels, guinea pigs, rats, and you-name-the-rodent. Capys belong right in there with the rest.

I started looking for information on them. Apparently, they average 2 feet tall and over 100 pounds. When living in the wild, capys hang out in groups and always around water (thus a major meal source for predators such as anacondas and crocodiles). They're excellent swimmers, too, staying up to five minutes underwater (look out Johnny Weissmueller!), are very social, and apparently can easily become friendly with people.

Thus it came as little surprise to discover that some folks keep capys as pets. Pictured above is a woman named Melanie who lives with her pet capy, Caplin Rous, in Texas. Caplin Rous has become so popular he has his own website. Imagine cuddling up on the couch with that fellow!

I had to smile. No matter a critter's size, shape, or species, the simple truth is this:

Somebody, somewhere, is sure to fall in love with it.

13 comments:

The 'splorin' Wolfies said...

i've seen these many times at our local zoo and was amazed that they were--well--rats! lol. not sure i would want one as a pet--

Tammy said...

When I first saw your picture, I thought the lady was feeding her Golden Retriever...and then I did a quadruple-take! GOOD LORD! A GIANT GERBIL!!! That is a true R.U.S. (Rodent of Unusual Size)! Thanks for the truly fascinating show & tell!!

Judy said...

Well, to each his own, I suppose. I'm sure, like with any pet, owners get attached. But I don't do rodents, no matter what size they are. Still...he is rather cuddly-looking...

BECKY said...

How interesting! And he does look cute....with his rather large leash around his body!! Wish we could see his face!! I could definitely get around the fact that he's a R.U.S. (thanks, Tam!)and have him as a pet!

Twinkietinydog said...

Your bloggy is becoming scary! What's up with the oversized snakes and rodents? Capybaras are huuuge. What if one steps on me? I better watch where I'm going till I can wipe that image out of my thoughts.
Twink!

nlindabrit said...

WOW!!! That thing is massive! I had no idea they were that big.

Linda O'Connell said...

A family found what they thought was a mongrel puppy in Gulfport, MS and brought it home. The kids were attached to it, loving on it and kissing it all the way home. They took it to the vet. He asked where they got it. They didn't know that it was a nutria, a rodent that hangs out along the river and resembles these Capys.

Cozy in Texas said...

Oh my - I've never seen one of these but they do say everything is bigger in Texas. I definitely got bigger after I arrived in Texas. You have the most interesting posts.
Ann

Dip-Dip and The Bridge said...

I would not like to see that in one of my kitchen cupboards!
Lynne
ps - not that I'm saying there are any rodents in my kitchen cupboards, lol

The 'splorin' Wolfies said...

thank you for the nice comment on our blog! we are so glad you liked the post!

An English Shepherd said...

capybaras look really interesting :-)

Wizz

Blogger Profile said...

Amazing. I'd love to rent one for parties! :)

RYKER said...

Love your Blog, always something fascinating to learn!