Wednesday, February 10, 2010
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.