Life with a 100 lb rodent that sounds like a Geiger counter when it's happy


60 Responses to “Life with a 100 lb rodent that sounds like a Geiger counter when it's happy”

  1. Quiet Noises says:

    @25 – Yes! Glad I’m not the only one who remembers that book!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I can haz Capybaras?

  3. Enormo says:

    Where do they crap?

  4. Lobster says:

    I’ll call you Speak, ’cause that’s what you do. :O

  5. Bill Albertson says:

    Wow, giant space hamsters do exist! Now all he needs is an overmuscled and very befuddled warrior sidekick in full plate and packing steel. The group of them could go off and stop undead elves from ending the world… oh, nevermind.

  6. Anonymous says:

    If you want to be overwhelmed w/ cute, check out squirrel monkeys riding capybaras like ponies:

  7. easy mo drew says:

    Definitely pro Capybara

  8. DenisVi says:

    I’m sorry, but this is not a rodent. This is a pokemon!

  9. dculberson says:

    I stayed in a jungle lodge in Peru a few years ago and they had a capybara named Charlie that was really cute and sweet. He loves grapes and if you scratch him under the chin he makes the trilling happy sound.

  10. dculberson says:

    Here’s a video of Charlie and his happy sounds when being pet!

  11. Brad S. says:

    Am I crazy, or were these mentioned on The Daily Show tonight??

  12. Spikeles says:

    Buttercup: Westley, what about the R.O.U.S.’s?
    Westley: Rodents Of Unusual Size? I don’t think they exist.

  13. endymion says:

    This truly needs video.

    Here’s Caplin in all his glory:

  14. Bionicrat2 says:

    I always found them more easily confused with coypus/nutrias .

  15. Lauren O says:

    I hope there are other people here young enough to remember the episode of The Wild Thornberries where it was revealed mid-meal that they were eating capybara burgers. “It’s a large, amphibious rat!”

    In completely unrelated news, I am moving to Texas in a couple days, and I have suddenly changed my mind about not wanting pets.

  16. Justin Ried says:

    Add a big, bushy tail and Caplin could go trick-or-treating as the world’s largest squirrel.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I wanted one until I got to the open mouth picture. Ew.

  18. jasonq says:

    How does one acquire a capybara as a pet, anyway? Not exactly the type of critter you can get at your local Petco…

  19. Keir says:

    I first saw one in a kids’ story book when I was a kid, really grabbed me.

  20. The Lizardman says:

    The giant rat identification by some may come from it commonly be used in sideshow & carnival displays as a “giant rat” or “giant sewer rat” – capybaras have been used for such one-offs and blow-offs for decades if not more than a century now.

    Video (not sideshow but very cute) with some of their vocalizations:

  21. f sharp a sharp infinity says:

    That image screams ‘O RLY?’

  22. Anonymous says:

    Somewhere out there is a children’s book with words and music for ‘Capybaras eat juicy green plants’ by the great Ivor Cutler…

    …and for people in the UK – Whipsanade zoo has a free wandering population of Capybaras.

  23. nanuq says:

    “He is confused with a variety of animals such as tapirs, wombats and peccaries.”

    Still better than asking if he sucks goats.

  24. Anonymous says:

    A Chiguiro!!!

  25. kateisgreat says:

    Only the Brits (past a certain age) will appreciate this – but my first introduction to the Capybara was thanks to Johnny Morris’ Animal Magic – a fantastic children’s programme where Morris does all the animal voices. The Capybara was very proud of being the biggest rodent in the world – genius!

  26. FPF422 says:

    In the wild, they are nearly extinct as they are so tasty…

  27. neurolux says:

    According to Wikipedia they are of the least concern of going extinct.

    I’d want to hug him, but I’d be afraid he’d gnaw my face off.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Sorry to be a mood fucker here, but a capybara can be very dangerous since it carries a kind of tick that transmits a very serious disease called (In America at least) Rocky Mountain spotted fever. There used to be a lot of them here in the neighborhood (im from Brazil, by the way), but the city council took them all away due to this disease. They are lovely, though.

  29. Tiki Wahine says:

    My two year old just walked over, and upon seeing the above photo, said ‘Beaver! Cute!’

    It’s strange to me that someone could confuse these rodents with wombats, tapirs or peccaries.

  30. sammich says:

    Kateisgreat @ 15 – mine too :)

    I couldn’t find the capybara, but here’s Johnny with Delilah the gorilla

  31. MichaelWalsh says:

    Oddly enough, we – the Johns Hopkins University Press – are publishing a book on capybaras.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Cabybaras also live near the keys in florida, and they are still considered wild, as they were introduced some 50 or 60 years ago. So they are not just wild in south america

  33. Anonymous says:

    where’s the soundstrack…?

  34. kateisgreat says:

    Thanks, Sammich – great to see him in action. Fond memories from my childhood. :-D

  35. nprnncbl says:

    #19: So do dogs.

  36. GuidoDavid says:

    Our local name for those is “Chigüire”, and when we went on field trips, we joked we got on Capybara suit, as we got muddy all over when collecting plants.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Speak! The Moist, Furry Avenger>

  38. bjacques says:


    I like saying that.

    He looks sorta like Dramatic Hamster. Can he act?

  39. Anonymous says:

    slightly related on the tapir front:

    I know a docent (volunteer) at the Brookfield Zoo. She said her colleague shared this story:

    The tapir, as he is wont to do, had relaxed (excited?) his business to the point where it was touching the floor. A group of teenage girls were shocked at this and asked the docent “what is that”?! He was a little embarassed, but he though well, just tell them and he said “that’s his penis.” The girl replied “I know that, what kind of animal is it!”

  40. Anonymous says:


  41. Anonymous says:

    Capybara, Capybara, men have named you
    You’re so like the lady with the mystic smile
    Is it only cause you’re lonely they have blamed you?
    For that Capybara strangeness in your smile?

  42. Anonymous says:

    I like that he takes the critter out so that he can watch people’s reaction. On a non-capybara note, but about people’s reactions — I will sometimes ride my Harley while wearing stilettos (yeah, I know it’s not safe). A big, burley, bearded, tattooed man on a Harley, in high heels, gets exactly those same reactions. Some folks get quite mad that their list of valid stuff has just been messed with, while the majority of those who even notice find it to be the coolest thing they’ve seen all day. People, go figure.

  43. Telecustard says:

    It would be interesting and useful to train one to be happy around sources of nuclear radiation.

  44. Anonymous says:

    Hello Americans (north americans that is…) The name of this animal is CAPIVARA, it only exists here in Brazil (In the wild I mean)and it is the largest rodent on earth!!!! so remmember… CAPIVARA, NOT CAPYBARA… OK????

  45. spiralbrain says:

    What a smug looking bastard.

  46. TheMatt says:

    All these comments and not one:


    I miss “The Tick”…

  47. Anonymous says:

    I still love the book >Capybobby by Bill Pete (actually, I have yet to read a book from him that I don’t love). At least the Swedish translation of the book explains thoroughly why you absolutely shouldn’t keep capybaras as pets, but that the owner/author didn’t know better at that time. Something of a mode killer for a kid reading about a cute and funny animal.

    Nice to finally see some movies of the animal.

  48. error404 says:

    Rather interestingly, the Capybara is in the same boat as the Beaver in that it is considered fish by the Catholic Church.

    Actually if they were in a boat and not both perfectly happy in the water then they’d not be considered fish, so a bad choice of words there.

    But I digress. The church were asked by Catholics in the New world to rule upon whether Capybara could be eaten during Lent.

    It is still known as Easter Fish in south America.

  49. GuidoDavid says:

    Now we have Cultural Brazilian Imperialism? LOL

  50. Anonymous says:

    I watched a lot of the videos. Mostly they eat, sleep, swim, and try to run away from humans. Adorable but I think people are personifying them a little too much. Their behavior seems pretty much in line with other rodents’, they’re just bigger.

  51. Ratbus says:

    I just saw these dudes on Ratzilla last night. They’re getting all the hype these days.

    @The Lizardman I’ve also paid 50¢ to see one at the county fair, where it was billed as a giant rat

  52. wolf87 says:

    I want a Wump of my own. Just saying…

  53. Marchhare says:

    I was thinking they were on the Daily Show, as well. Sanford was going to Argentina to copulate with one.

    just tried to Google the Capybara and Argentina and this post came up.

  54. BobbyMike says:

    My kids have loved my copy of Capyboppy, a book written and illustrated by Bill Peet. Bill’s son bought a Capybara and they lived with it for quite a bit. Highly recommended!

  55. pAULbOWEN says:

    @ Anonymous #48. Capivara is the name of this animal in Portuguese, but the article is written in English so the name is given correctly in the English form, Capybara. It’s a different language, do you see? In France they call an egg ‘un oeuf’!

    You are incorrect about the distribution, the animal is found, wild, across South America, bar the west.

  56. Ted8305 says:


  57. Anonymous says:

    i so want one of those now. ten seconds ago i didn’t even know they existed but now i totally want one

  58. CD says:

    He is very distinguished looking. Professorial, even.

  59. ill lich says:

    some take that as a personal affront, angry that such an animal could even exist.

    Jeez. They should save their anger for rape, torture and genocide. A giant rodent (even if you consider it a “rat”) is positively cute compared to those things.

  60. matt joyce says:

    You know the capybara is still considered a fish by the roman catholic church. You can eat it on fridays during lent. Tastes pretty good too. Likened to pork.

    I used to love seeing these things down in brazil.

    Cool chill little animals. Love the water.

Leave a Reply