Capybaras are the largest social rodents native to the forests, swamps, marshes, and tropical rainforests of Central and South America. Despite being classified as a pig in the past, they are now recognized as rodents, semi-aquatic rodents, and the largest of their kind. Due to its many obscure characteristics, the animal has been the subject of various debates ever since its discovery in the last three centuries.
Capybaras live in herds of up to twenty individuals, with two to four males and females per herd and four to seven females and juveniles per herd, depending on the season. During the dry season, larger aggregations can be seen together. Within a group, there is usually a dominant male and several subordinates. Despite being dominant and caring for the females and their young, the dominant males may not be able to stop the females from reproducing with other subordinates in the group. Studies have proven that capybaras form cohesive groups with an intricate social structure that includes an established power structure and individual specializations of functions. During the hottest part of the day, they spend most of their time wallowing in water or mud. In the late afternoon and early evening, they graze. They are equally adept on land and in water. At night, their activity and inactivity depend on the presence of predators and threats. There are no bachelor groups among capybaras, and males belonging to no group have little protection from predators and a very slim chance of surviving.
Capybaras are known for being peaceful and calm animals – giant rodents that are unconcerned with the activities around them. Most of them live in groups of ten to twenty people. Capybaras are known for their friendliness and have formed animal friendships with other animals. Domestic and wild animals alike enjoy hanging out with this friendly creature that resembles a rat-pig hybrid. Even crocodiles seem to enjoy it!
Other species in the wild would hang out with capybaras for various reasons. They radiate heat as they are warm-blooded mammals. They stir up insects when they graze, which would benefit any insectivorous birds hanging around with them. When predators approach, they give out an alarm call, which would benefit any other animals at risk of being preyed upon. As social animals, they would be more likely to tolerate other animals hanging around them in captivity than non-social animals.
Here are some adorable photos of Capybaras with other animals that prove animals love them.