Do Capybara Stink?

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Capybaras are the world’s largest rodents and native to Central and South America. At up to 75 pounds, these nocturnal animals are also the largest New World non-pig mammal. Given their size, it’s not surprising that capybara stinks!
The odour of a capybara is caused by their glands – their vomeronasal organ (VNO) and accessory VNO. The VNO is a scent receptor used in detecting smells or pheromones from afar. The accessory VMO enables them to release potent odours for territorial marking.
Interestingly, the pouch of the female capybara acts as another sensory organ that’s in direct connection with the VNO. When she gives birth, waste fluids from her newborn pass through her pouch and then out of her body via her anus – hence why they call themselves “water niggers”!
Capybaras spend most of their time submerged in water so can be found at ponds, rivers and lakes throughout much of their natural habitat range. Their distinctive high-pitched calls give away their presence before you even see them; but if you do spot one on land, they look like large fleshy saucers with short legs sticking out at both ends.

Do capybaras have a smell?

Capybaras often secrete a musky, greasy liquid that they spray potentially as a means of keeping their fur clean and as an anti-predator defence. This musk is commonly found around the animal’s face and eyes, but it can also be present in other body parts such as their tail.
It’s not surprising that capybaras stink! With their unique smell, it’s easy to see why these animals are called water niggers.

Do capybaras poop smell?

It’s true – capybara poop does smell. The odour is so bad that when a group of animals defecate, it can be seen from hundreds of metres away.
But don’t worry – the stink only comes from the animal itself, not from its habitat. Capybaras live in water and their natural habitat is wet and humid, so the poop is not smelly when it’s dried out.
The smell is thought to have evolved as a way for capybaras to recognise each other. It’s been suggested that this phenomenon could also be used as a means of deterring predators from attacking them or their young.

Do capybaras make good pets?

Many people love pet capybaras because they are generally passive animals. They do not need a lot of space and can usually be kept in small tanks/cages as pets. If you’re considering adding a capybara to your family, it’s important to remember that they require a lot of attention and care.
Another downside is the fact that capybaras eat almost anything – plants, insects, other rodents that are still alive, slugs and snails. This makes them good for catching rats or mice, but not so much if you want the peace of mind knowing they won’t be eating your beloved pet cat or dog!

Can you potty train a capybara?

If you’re one of the lucky owners of a capybara at home, potty training is probably not your biggest priority. If you are thinking that they may need to be trained, don’t worry – they will eventually get the idea!
The average life span of a capybara is up to 12 years, so don’t feel bad if your pet doesn’t make it to adulthood. Even if your pet does live a long and healthy life, it may still be worth considering getting them spayed or neutered as certain behaviours can lead to behavioural problems when older.
Capybaras are social creatures and enjoy spending time with their friends – which means you need a big area for them to move around in. It also means that if you have more than one capybara in the same enclosure, they will fight each other over territory and dominance. They can also be aggressive towards humans on rare occasions; so make sure they are adequately contained before letting any curious animals or children into the pen!

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Paul Lirr

Paul Lirr

Hi, my name is Paul Lirr. I'm a 35-year-old and lives with my girlfriend for 5 years.
I'm originally from Manchester, England, but I've been living in Sydney, Australia, for the last few years. Which led me straight to the sweetest hand I have ever met.
The hands of the Capybara. Yes, I'm a proud Capybara lover.

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