rodentology

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This is Gary the capybara, the 100+ lb pet to a family in Texas. He comes when called, performs tricks, and sleeps in bed with owner Melanie Typaldos. He’s chums with pets Juju the puppy, flopsy the cat, and a badass unnamed tortoise. They acquired him from a previous owner that couldn’t continue caring for him [story + photos]

Capybaras (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) are the biggest living rodent, herbivorous, semi-aquatic, and native to most places in South America (save for Chile). They’re legal to own in some states, as well as some places in the UK. They’re highly social animals, living in herds as large as 30-100 in the wild (1:2 male to female); it’s for that reason they’re not recommended as pets. Gary seems well adjusted to the family and other pet, but living with other capybaras is where they are the least stressed. They’re playful, squishy things, but can be quite dangerous; they have sharp teeth and forceful jaws. They’re not considered endangered, but are hunted for pharmaceuticals, pelt, and food.

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