The capybara is a semiaquatic animal, and they are found inhabiting savannahs and dense forests near water in South America.

They have heavy, barrel shaped bodies and a short head. Their fur is thick and reddish-brown in colour on the upper parts, turning yellowish-brown underneath. The animal lacks under hairs, and their guard hairs differ slightly from over hair. Adult capybaras can grow to be 150-212cm in length and stand 70-112cm tall at the withers. They typically weigh around 35-66kg.

They are an herbivorous species, typically grazing on grasses and aquatic plant life, as well as fruit and tree bark. They are extremely selective feeders when food sources are in abundance, but will usually eat plentiful amounts of whatever plant life they can find during the dry season. They are the preferred prey of a few different predators, including the anaconda, caimans, jaguar´s and puma´s.

Capybara females have a gestation period of between 130-150 days, and produce a litter of four capybara babies. Birth occurs on land, and the female usually returns to the group within a few hours of giving birth, with the young joining as soon as they are mobile. They are typically able to eat grass after a week, but they will continue to suckle, from any female in the group, until they are around 16 weeks of age.

They are known to be quite agile both on land and in the water. They have the ability to completely submerge themselves in the water to evade detection from predators.

Capybara never stray far from water as when one senses danger it gives a short bark that encourages the herd to quickly scuttle into the water to hide.

Capybara herds tend to average between 10 and 30 individuals, larger groups are not uncommon with some numbering up to 100 members in home ranges generally larger than those of smaller groups. The Capybara is closely related to other South American rodents such as Chinchillas and Guinea pigs.