Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris

family:  Caviidae
geographic range:  South America
weight:  35-66 kg
lifespan:  6-12 years
habitat:  flooded grasslands
lifestyle:  group

It is widespread in South America, mostly in Brazil, Uruguay, Venezuela and Colombia. It can be found in flooded grassy areas, in swamps, plains, bushes and grass.

It is the largest rodent. Its barrel-shaped body is 1.2 m long, its fur is coarse, with red and brown color, on the belly its yellow-brown. It has no tail. Between its toes he has small webs. It is a splendid swimmer.

To indicate danger to the group they give out bark-like sounds, following which the members of the group escape to the water. Males have a Morillo-gland on their face, they spray the ooze to mark their territory.

It is coprophagous, they re-digest their own feces. It is hunted for its meat. It is a popular food during lent, as the Catholic Church has endorsed its consumption.

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