Capybaras are herbivores, meaning they are plant-eaters. Much of their time is spent grazing and foraging for food, which consists primarily of protein-rich grasses. An adult eats 6 to 8 pounds (2.7 to 3.6 kilograms) of grasses a day. They also eat water plants, fruits, and vegetables, including wild melons and squashes.
Since grasses are difficult for most mammals to digest, the capybara's digestive system has adapted to make it easier. One of these adaptations is a large fermentation chamber in the intestines called the cecum (SEE-kum). Capybaras also engage in coprophagy (kuh-PRAH-fuh-gee), which means they eat some of their own feces. These softer feces are rich in nutrients.
- Capybara: Hydrochaeridae - Behavior And Reproduction
- Capybara: Hydrochaeridae - Physical Characteristics
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