You thought the beaver was a rodent of unusual size? The capybara is twice that big—the biggest rodent on Earth. These impressive semi-aquatic mammals are found throughout much of northern and central South America, though a small invasive population has been seen in Florida. They’re closely related to guinea pigs and rock cavies, and more distantly related to chinchillas and agouti.
Like beavers, capybaras are strong swimmers. Their pig-shaped bodies are adapted for life in bodies of water found in forests, seasonally flooded savannas, and wetlands. Their toes are partially webbed for paddling around, and their reddish to dark brown fur is long and brittle—perfect for drying out quickly on land. Small eyes, noses, and hairless