How Big is a Capybara?

This is another funny capybara site. The normal amount of misinformation. To get the full effect, you need to follow the link at the end so you can compare the size of a capybara to various other rodents, like chipmunks. I don’t think their graphic comparison works quite the way they thought it would, but it’s darned funny.

I grabbed the “photos” so this looks like a coloring page. That’s about the right level of accuracy for this kind of article. First, I think we can all agree that they aren’t “pig-shaped.” How insulting.

People who know little about capybaras can’t believe they have no tail.

This is a quote from the article:

Capybaras have a height of 20”-24” (51-61 cm), body length between 42”-53” (107-135 cm), and an overall weight in the range of 77-146 lb (35-66 kg). Capybaras have a typical lifespan of 7-10 years in the wild and up to 10-15 years in captivity.

Let’s do the measurements first. Check this out, Melanie measured Caplin. This article was optimistic about the body length, perhaps a bit shy on the height. Caplin was an average capybara, with regard to size. Plus, Melanie’s measurements are much more comprehensive.

This is how you color a capybara! Why stick with brown?

There is a scientific study about weights of wild capybaras that indicates the weight of mature capybaras ranges from 84 to 136 pounds (38 to 62 kgs). Another study simply states 48.9 kgs (108 pounds). Dobby got up to 136, and he was a tall but slender capybara. So, their weights are not far off, but a bit exaggerated in either direction.

It’s a rodent, it has to have a tail, right?

There is quite a controversy regarding life-span. The most definitive study* I have found indicates that capybaras typically live three to four years in the wild, if they make it past their first year when about half are lost. In the wild it is possible to find a couple five year olds in a large herd, and you might even find a six year old if you are lucky. Seven year olds are extremely rare but not unheard of. No eight year olds, sorry. Anecdotally, zoos figure ten to twelve years in captivity. I know a breeder who had several reach fifteen, sixteen, seventeen and even one who reached eighteen years! It all depends upon who you ask.

*Sorry, not freely available online. I have the book.

Capybaras are often drawn with a pig-like nose, even when they get the “tail” right.

So, that’s all nice, but how big are capybaras, really? Dobby was huge!

Big as a boxcar!

This is about right, crotch sniffing height like a big dog. I gave up wearing skirts because Dobby kept putting his head under there.

They couldn’t find anything else to say about capybaras, so at the end of the article they spewed out some generic rodent information, including how to get rid of pests.

Follow this link (and scroll all the way down) to play with their silly rodent size comparison generator and get ready to giggle!

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