Why Do Animals Like Capybaras So Much?
July 9, 2016 8:54 AM   Subscribe

 
CAPYBARAS MAKE ME HAPPY THANK YOU I NEEDED THAT

Also they look like they're warm and cuddly and super chill, which is probably why all other animals like them.
posted by erst at 9:03 AM on July 9, 2016 [9 favorites]


I think maybe it's more that capybaras like to hang out with other animals? And also, they're apparently too stupid to run away from crocodiles? I think the capybara was under the impression that he was hanging out with the crocodile, and the crocodile was under the impression that he was getting ready for lunch.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:06 AM on July 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


Capybaras previously

Not to forget Capybaras in the most recent alphabet thread (and further below).

Ooh I love a good Capybara thread! Thank you! Honeybadger approves the shit out of it.
posted by Namlit at 9:09 AM on July 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


ALL HAIL THE HYPNOCAPYBARA!
posted by blue_beetle at 9:13 AM on July 9, 2016 [7 favorites]


Since it's summertime, here's a video of a group of capybaras eating a giant watermelon
posted by Umami Dearest at 9:14 AM on July 9, 2016 [35 favorites]


I don't know why animals are so fond of capybaras, and I think that I could figure this out if someone would let me hang out with their capybara for a while, maybe go swimming.
posted by jeather at 9:26 AM on July 9, 2016 [6 favorites]


I did an exchange year in Brazil as a teenager and when the students got together to travel, they would put us in groups for organizational purposes and assign each group a name. On one trip, my group was named Capybara. So I feel like I have a special affinity for them.

At the same time, I recall that if you get up close to them in the wild, they smell pretty bad.

Sometimes I wonder if the group name assignment was trying to tell us something.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:30 AM on July 9, 2016 [11 favorites]


Too big for small predators to eat, and too cute to scare prey animals?
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:31 AM on July 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


They just wander up to that watermelon like what the eff is this? I guess let's try eating it.

Is there any kind of business model around raising and rearing capybaras? Because I'm getting that Rilke's Apollo, you-must-change-your-life kind of feeling. But I'm not Jon Stewart rich, so...
posted by penduluum at 9:32 AM on July 9, 2016 [3 favorites]




Is there any kind of business model around raising and rearing capybaras?

You've seen how popular cat cafes have become....
posted by Umami Dearest at 9:38 AM on July 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


Stuck in the same cage and looking for a warm spot to sit?
posted by sammyo at 9:38 AM on July 9, 2016


FREE THE HIGH PARK THREE!

FREE THE HIGH PARK THREE!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:45 AM on July 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


Is there any kind of business model around raising and rearing capybaras?

Yes, there is a tradition of capybara ranching in South America. (Video shows an adorable herd of capybara and rather less adorable footage of a capybara being lassoed.) And supposedly the Catholic church categorized them as fish for dietary purposes, meaning they could be eaten on Fridays and during Lent, helping establish their popularity in South American cuisine. I have the impression they're somewhat like pigs: sociable, can make good pets, kind of smelly, and (for those who eat meat) delicious.
posted by biogeo at 9:46 AM on July 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


Picture #10 worries me.
posted by lagomorphius at 9:51 AM on July 9, 2016


Picture 10 looks worrying, but that capybara is far too large for the caiman to safely swallow whole, and while the wiki isn't clear, it appears that caiman mostly seem to favour fish and crustaceans. The thick, hairy, capybara's hide probably makes it more trouble than it's worth for the caiman to bother.
posted by YAMWAK at 10:06 AM on July 9, 2016 [3 favorites]




I am removing all other threads from recent activity so it is just this one. Fill my life with capybaras.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:13 AM on July 9, 2016 [15 favorites]


That dog is not quite sure what to do with that capybara. Not totally against the idea, but a bit nervous at the whole thing.

A capybara cafe seems a bit high-strung. A capybara brewpub, though? Hmmm. What if it was a seeing-eye capybara, probably could get it classified as a service animal...
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 10:31 AM on July 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


They just wander up to that watermelon like what the eff is this? I guess let's try eating it.

Had a guinea pig. Can confirm that's how their tiny (well, bigger in capybaras, but still) brains work. EVERYTHING is for chewing.
posted by bowtiesarecool at 10:31 AM on July 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


Capybaras are the most chill animal, ever. They react to most things by either ignoring them or by rolling over on their sides. That's a model we should follow.
posted by tommasz at 10:41 AM on July 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


From a previous post...

Unit of Measure, Sandra Beasley

All can be measured by the standard of the capybara.
Everyone is lesser than or greater than the capybara.
Everything is taller or shorter than the capybara.
Everything is mistaken for a Brazilian dance craze
more or less frequently than the capybara.
Everyone eats greater or fewer watermelons
than the capybara. Everyone eats more or less bark.
Everyone barks more than or less than the capybara,
who also whistles, clicks, grunts, and emits what is known
as his alarm squeal. Everyone is more or less alarmed
than a capybara, who—because his back legs
are longer than his front legs—feels like
he is going downhill at all times.
Everyone is more or less a master of grasses
than the capybara
. Or going by the scientific name,
more or less Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris
or, going by the Greek translation, more or less
water hog. Everyone is more or less
of a fish than the capybara, defined as the outermost realm
of fishdom by the 16th-century Catholic Church.
Everyone is eaten more or less often for Lent than
the capybara. Shredded, spiced, and served over plantains,
everything tastes more or less like pork
than the capybara. Before you decide that you are
greater than or lesser than a capybara, consider
that while the Brazilian capybara breeds only once a year,
the Venezuelan variety mates continuously.
Consider the last time you mated continuously.
Consider the year of your childhood when you had
exactly as many teeth as the capybara—
twenty—and all yours fell out, and all his
kept growing. Consider how his skin stretches
in only one direction. Accept that you are stretchier
than the capybara. Accept that you have foolishly
distributed your eyes, ears, and nostrils
all over your face. Accept that now you will never be able
to sleep underwater. Accept that the fish
will never gather to your capybara body offering
their soft, finned love. One of us, they say, one of us,
but they will not say it to you.
posted by howfar at 10:44 AM on July 9, 2016 [45 favorites]


Maybe because I live so freaking far away from their habitat or maybe just because I'm a dumbass who is easily confused by alliteration, but I have trouble keeping capybara straight from chupacabra.
posted by Ber at 10:45 AM on July 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


capybara licks your face, chupacabra eats your face.
posted by el io at 10:50 AM on July 9, 2016 [16 favorites]


But only if you're a goat.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:51 AM on July 9, 2016


Well, capybara would probably lick in either case.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:51 AM on July 9, 2016


at least some of those pictures are of cheesecake from the rocky ridge refuge.
posted by nadawi at 10:54 AM on July 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


Had a guinea pig. Can confirm that's how their tiny (well, bigger in capybaras, but still) brains work. EVERYTHING is for chewing.

Since you brought it up, capybara brains are pretty interesting-looking for a rodent.
posted by biogeo at 11:06 AM on July 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


What if it was a seeing-eye capybara, probably could get it classified as a service animal...

I would think that would depend upon whether it could be housebroken, which is most likely not a given -- if years of observing mammalian herbivores on the Ed Sullivan Show is any guide.
posted by y2karl at 11:17 AM on July 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


And supposedly the Catholic church categorized them as fish for dietary purposes, meaning they could be eaten on Fridays and during Lent, helping establish their popularity in South American cuisine.

When Friday comes, we'll all call rats fish.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:29 AM on July 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


Capybaras as fish provide a keen insight into one of two possible truths about religion in general and Christianity in particular. To wit:

Either god is a rules lawyer, or humans are, or both; the presence of a rules lawyer on one or both sides of the bargain makes the concept of heaven impossible.

If God is "honest" and humans are rules lawyers, capybaras declared fish so they can be eaten on Fridays (or "prosperity gospel", racism, denying care to the sick, money to the poor, pretty much everything people do) underlines that no one gets through the pearly gates. "These were simple rules. Written in plain language. 'Technically' is not a word we use up here. You had a closet full of clothes you never wore and yet you passed people in need on the street every day. Next."

If God is a rules lawyer: "well, yes, 'technically' this is 'heaven'. Says so right on the sign. Now get to work" or "well, yes, you did mostly follow the rules...that you knew about. Ignorance of the others is not a license to break them. Are you telling me you never peed on a Saturday between noon and four local time? Next."
posted by maxwelton at 12:33 PM on July 9, 2016 [8 favorites]


Metafilter: Not totally against the idea, but a bit nervous at the whole thing.
posted by Doroteo Arango II at 12:36 PM on July 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


MetaFilter: a rules lawyer on one or both sides
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:52 PM on July 9, 2016 [8 favorites]


What a weird way to look at rules. Another interpretation is that God created the rules but appreciates when humans are clever enough to find other interpretations, or to find exceptions or tricks in the rules. Why would God necessarily dislike cleverness?

(Also "capybaras are fish for the purposes of Friday meals" is a really different kind of rules lawyering than racism. Does God have to have no sense of proportion about the importance of various rules?)
posted by jeather at 4:15 PM on July 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


Isn't the whole "God made the rules but likes that humans are smart enough to find ways around them" idea a thing in Judaism? I'm thinking of the various Sabbath workarounds, or that story about Rabbi Eliezer where God is straight-up excited about it.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:05 PM on July 9, 2016


Yeah -- I'm Jewish; I was thinking that -- but I didn't want to bring up any specific religions in a cute, fun thread about giant hamsters.
posted by jeather at 5:22 PM on July 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


I may have told this story here before.. my husband and I went to Guadalajara, and one of the things we did was visit the zoo. It seemed like in every single outdoor exhibit, there was a capybara, an iguana, or both. There was a pretty big capybara section, but they seemed to have migrated to pretty much the entire zoo. I'll see if I can dig up a picture of this.
posted by Fig at 6:06 PM on July 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


and behold! the gift that keeps on giving: Animals Sitting on Capybaras, the Tumblr
posted by shavenwarthog at 6:14 PM on July 9, 2016 [10 favorites]


Cute, fun threads about giant hamsters are my specific religion.
posted by howfar at 6:50 PM on July 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


FREE THE HIGH PARK THREE!

Two escaped capybaras, on the lam since May 24, were apprehended successfully on June 12 and 28, respectively. Authorities say the escapees will serve the remainder of their incarceration in a facility with higher security. There is no word yet whether the capybaras will face any additional charges related to the escape.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:41 PM on July 9, 2016 [3 favorites]


Because they're warm and dumb. There's nothing wrong with that.
posted by shoesietart at 10:21 AM on July 10, 2016


Why Do Animals Like Capybaras So Much?
Because they're (actually) smart, make squeaky noises and are vegetarians, so inherently safe.
posted by Namlit at 3:08 PM on July 10, 2016 [1 favorite]


A capybara flirting with a dog

Interesting. What with the breaking out into manic mini-jigs, inappropriate licking and the flirtee's fairly tenuous tolerance and utter confusion, this is pretty much exactly what it looks like when I flirt in the wild.
posted by bologna on wry at 7:22 PM on July 10, 2016 [3 favorites]


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