Saturday, November 19, 2005

Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris

Just thought I'd share some information about my favourite rodent. Why 'my favourite rodent'? Why not?

Now I know that some people don't like rodents at all. I also know that some people like hamsters, others are fond of gerbils, and children love guinea pigs and rabbits. But my rodent of choice is the Capybara. Okay it might not make a suitable pet, but it has character, poise and size on its side.

Capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) © Somebody ElseThe Capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) is the largest rodent in the world and weighs up to 160 pounds. It is also known as carpincho, chigwire, giant water guinea pig and water hog. Capybara live in the tall grasslands that border rivers, streams and lakes in tropical South America and Panama. It is never found far from water and is an excellent swimmer which apprently will often leap into water to escape from predators.

I first became aware of the Capybara watching an excellent BBC documentary a few years ago about the Patagonia region of South America. Patagonia looks like a great part of the world to go on an extended visit to. Real wilderness, the kind of place where whilst enjoying the grandeur of nature you also find out a lot about yourself.

I would like to think that I will be able to visit the region at some point in my life, prefereably before the huge gaping hole in the ozone layer kills everything, or global warming destroys the fragile balance of the habitats and tuns it into a dessert.


Blogger Jon said...

I'll accept that red squirrels are cool. Grey ones are just too common though.

Everybody has a favourite rodent. Some people have to spend a minute or two to think about it, but everybody's got one.

21/11/05 20:14  

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