Today we will consider two types of rodents with no tail.
These are guinea pig and capybara.
Rodent with no tail: Guinea Pig
Guinea pigs have been widely popular as pets since their appearance in Europe in the 16th century. Their kind nature, original color, relative ease of maintenance, and easy breeding, still support the mass distribution of these rodents as pets.
So why are guinea pigs so called? Information about guinea pigs is found in the records of Spaniards landing on the shores of South America. When they saw these animals for the first time, they were reminded of the dairy piglets. This is one version of why guinea pigs are pigs. Also, the guinea pigs were bred for food, as well as in Europe common pigs.
There are several other assumptions why guinea pig is a guinea pig. First, when the beast is anxious or satisfied, it makes sounds similar to squealing or grunting. Secondly, the lower limbs of the guinea pigs are shaped like hooves. Definitely, these rodents were named by the Spaniards who brought them to Europe, and then this name spread to all countries.
These popular pets belong to the rodents and their content in something similar to that of the house of decorative rabbits. Organizations and private breeders involved in the maintenance and breeding of guinea pigs exist all over the world. They bred many different breeds of these animals, with different colors, patterns, and long wool.
Rodent with no tail: Capybara
The capybara is the largest among modern rodents. In the language of the Guaraní Indians, the word capybara means “gentleman of herbs”. The body length of an adult reaches 1-1.35 m, the height in the crest – 50-60 cm. Males weigh 34-63 kg, and females – up to 65.5 kg. Externally, these animals resemble a giant big-beam guinea pig. These rodents are usually active during the day, but if they are often disturbed by humans and predators, they switch to the nightlife.
Capybaras move perfectly in ponds and dive, which is facilitated by the presence of swimming membranes on their feet, and the high position on the head of eyes, ears, and nostrils allows them to hide the body while swimming underwater, without losing orientation in space.
Capybaras live in groups of 10-20 individuals, consisting of a dominant male, several adult females, cubs, and subordinate males. Some individuals live alone. These animals communicate through whistling, clicking, and barking sounds, as well as the smell of the secret of the olfactory gland, which is located in the males’ muzzle. Their food consists of fruits and tubers, hay and grass, water plants. Capybara reach puberty at 12-18 months, can reproduce all year round. Mating takes place in water. Pregnancy lasts about 150 days.
Childbirth takes place on the ground, not in shelters. Female brings from 2 to 8 calves, which are born with wool, open eyes, and teeth teething. Newborn babies weigh about 1.5 kg. All the females in the group take care of the newborns, who soon after birth can follow their mother and eat grass. Dairy feeding lasts up to 3-4 months.
Habitat of a capybara is the shores of various reservoirs in tropical and temperate parts of South America. In the mountains, capybaras are found up to a height of 1300 m above sea level.