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Showing posts from October, 2014

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Featured species: Lesser Capybara (Hydrochoerus isthmius)

The Lesser Capybara (Hydrochoerus isthmius) is a species of large semi-aquatic rodent that lives in herds near fresh water from eastern Panama to the northwest of Colombia and the west of Venezuela, west of the Andes. Originally described in 1912 by the American zoologist Edward Alphonso Goldman, this species is scarce and shy in Panama and uncommon in Venezuela. In Colombia, lesser capybaras were abundant in stream edges, swamps and permanent lagoons.




From its description, it was considered as a small subspecies of capybara (H. hydrochaeris), the largest living rodent in the world. However, in 1991 after genetic and morphological analysis that determined differences, it was elevated to species condition. At present, only these two species of capybaras exist. The size and weight of the lesser capybara are considerably smaller than its congener’s.

It feeds only on vegetables and is captured by caimans, crocodiles, boas, big cats such as the jaguar and puma, and by humans, as it is use…

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