Are Capybaras Big Hamsters? (All You Need To Know)

In this article, we discuss all Are Capybaras Big Hamsters? Most people would say that the largest rodent on Earth is a species of a radioactive rat living in New York City’s sewers if they were asked what the largest rodent on Earth is. The world’s largest rodent may be more giant than you imagine, even though this story might appeal to the crazy romantic in many of us.

Are Capybaras Big Hamsters?

The Capybara, sometimes known as the enormous Capybara, is a large cavy rodent indigenous to South America. It belongs to the Hydrochoerus genus and is the largest rodent currently alive. The smaller Capybara is the lone surviving member (Hydrochoerus isthmus).

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The World’s Largest Rodent

The Biggest Rodent in the World Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the Capybara, which is actually the world’s giant rodent. South America is home to the Capybara. Many people mistakenly believe these are more closely related to beavers or wild pigs at first glance.

They favor comparable settings and are primarily found in jungles and regions close to rivers. One of these creatures weighs about 120 pounds when it is fully grown. And one Buda resident is converting her Hill Country property into a haven for these enormous rodents.

Due to the well-known anime character Kapibara-san, capybaras, those adorable South American creatures that resemble giant hamsters, are famous in Japan. However, oversized rodents have recently gained popularity along with the rise of pet shops like cat, rabbit, and dog cafes.

Kobe Animal Kingdom, a sizable interactive animal park that debuted in 2014, features capybaras as one of its key draws. The Aqua Valley of the park is home to about six copies, who are free to roam the grounds and soak in pools alongside beavers and seals. The capybaras can be petted by guests and given appropriate treats to eat.

One of the largest herds in Japan is at Nasu Animal Kingdom in Tochigi, where you can also take an onsen-style bath with the capybaras despite a glass wall separating them from visitors. At Nagasaki Bio Park, a sizable nature park at the western tip of Kyushu, amiable caps is also the main draw.

The resident capybaras at Izu Cactus Park on the Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture take wintertime dips in their own specially built hot spring pools. A sizable herd roams the Izu Animal Kingdom grounds farther down the peninsula.

The Body Of A Capybara

The Capybara has a bulky build and long, coarse hair that is reddish-brown, yellow-brown, or grey. Small ears and a blunt snout characterize its lengthy head. The eyes are tiny and situated very high on the head. The animal’s legs are short.

Its feet are narrowly webbed, and its hind legs are more extended than its front ones. In softer materials like mud, the feet make tracks that resemble stars. The back feet only have three toes, compared to the front feet’s four. Capybaras can easily swim, run, and walk. They can also sit like a dog. Although a capybara’s body looks to have no tail, it has a tiny, undeveloped, and immobile stub sometimes referred to as a tail.

Habitat And Diet

Forests and grassy areas close to marshes, swamps, lakes, ponds, and rivers are home to capybaras. A capybara can be submerged in the water with just the top of its head visible because its eyes, ears, and nostrils are situated close to its head. As a result, it can breathe and scan its surroundings even while most of its body is submerged. A similar adaption can be found in African hippos.

For up to five minutes, capybaras may remain entirely submerged in water. Food and safety are both provided by the water. The creatures are herbivores and consume grasses and aquatic plants, but when the grass dries out, they will also consume some fruits, grains, and reeds. Instead of moving their jaws up and down like we do while chewing, they move them from side to side.

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Animals Similar To A Hamster

Depending on the breed’s size, hamsters have a life span of 2 to 6 years. They tend to stockpile food in their cheeks and chew to keep their teeth tiny. When scared, this nocturnal mammal tends to hide. They need and enjoy receiving human affection as pets. What other creatures resemble hamsters? The top fifteen mammals that are comparable will be discussed.

Guinea Pig

Another little rodent that people keep as a pet is the guinea pig. Despite having a similar appearance, guinea pigs are substantially bigger than hamsters. This mouse ranges from 8 to 16 inches and weighs between 15 and 47 oz. The type of guinea pig that humans domesticated is no longer found in the wild. The South American mountains are home to a close wild cousin with the same name. They require a lot bigger habitat as pets than hamsters do.

Guinea Pig

They do not sleep at night like hamsters but instead like to be awake during the day. The attempt to get guinea pigs to run on hamster wheels can endanger them because they cannot do so. They come in various colors that are comparable to one another, from white and beige to saffron and black.

A guinea pig’s diet consists primarily of grass and hay, with sporadic servings of vegetables and fruits. Their little teeth are kept in place by the fibrous hay and silage. A guinea pig can live for four to eight years with a healthy diet.


Voles are members of the Cricetidae family, just like hamsters. They resemble a hybrid between field mice and hamsters in appearance. They have short tails, small, rounded, hefty bodies, and pointed faces. They nibble on plant roots and stems with the help of their pronounced teeth. Voles weigh 0.6 to 3.2 oz. and are about 5-8 inches long. These mammals can survive in various environments, including aquatic and mountainous terrain.


Voles eat just plants. They consume a variety of grasses, plants, seeds, and bulbs as food. They can also eat bark and roots if there is no such food. They prefer to reside in forested areas since there is more food there. Voles have a large number of young. However, they only live for three to twelve months on average. In contrast to voles, which cannot adapt, hamsters live considerably longer and are domesticated.


Lemmings are rodents belonging to the Cricetidae family and appear most like hamsters. They are little, about 4 to 5 inches in length. They have little tails, like hamsters. Their weight might vary from 0.4 to 0.7 oz, depending on the species.

Like hamsters, these mammals are herbivores and feed on grass, sedges, and other grass-like plants. Lemmings can survive the brutal winters on bark and roots, like voles. Lemmings are available in various hues and patterns, giving them a hamster-like appearance.


Their hands, feet, and snouts are similar. Lemmings can be raised as pets, similar to hamsters, but they live significantly shorter lives. The average lifespan is around 12 months, while certain species can only live up to 2 years. They can be active day and night while still receiving some rest whenever they need it.


The muskrat is an additional member of the Cricetidae family. Because of their habitat, they are significantly different from hamsters and other Cricetidae. Water-loving muskrats frequently inhabit marshes. Muskrats are omnivores, in contrast to hamsters. So they eat fish and snails in addition to plant-based foods like water plants.


They are typically smellier than hamsters, and owning one may be against the law in some regions. Muskrats can swim well. Their coat’s color palette is somewhat limited. They range in color from pale brown to black. Their snouts have a hamster-like appearance. Similar to humans, they also frequently stand up on their hind legs.


Similarly to hamsters, gerbils are rodents. Gerbils belong to the Muridae family, whereas hamsters are members of the Cricetidae family. They still resemble rats in appearance despite being more similar to them. Gerbils have long tails like rats, which is a noticeable distinction in terms of look. They typically reside in sandy areas and are native to desert regions.


Gerbils weigh up to 4.7 oz, making them considerably smaller than hamsters. Including their tails, their length ranges from 4 to 8 inches. These creatures don’t sleep as hamsters do. Even if they awake at night, they can be active during the day.

They awaken for a few hours before falling asleep between bouts of 1-2 hours of sleep. In contrast to hamsters, who mainly eat fruits, vegetables, and leafy greens, gerbils eat grasses, leaves, bulbs, and herbs. The life span of a gerbil can vary from 2 to 4 years, depending on its environment and way of life. Like hamsters, they require a running wheel to keep them in shape when maintained as pets.


Capybaras are frequently mistaken for enormous hamsters. They are the giant rodents known to exist and are huge. They are roughly 20 inches tall and 39 to 51 inches long. Their weight ranges from 60 to 174 pounds. These mammals are frequently mistaken for grown-up hamsters. Their fur colors don’t vary all that much.

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Their tops are often reddish-brown or grayish-brown, while their bellies and chests are brown-yellow. Like hamsters, capybaras are strictly herbivorous animals that consume grass, aquatic plants, tubers, barks, and sugar cane. They can become nocturnal when threatened because they are most active at dawn and twilight. Capybaras have a lifespan of 6–12 years. These giant rodents are wonderful companions and enjoy cuddling.

Pygmy Hedgehogs

Despite not being rodents, pygmy hedgehogs have several intriguing parallels to hamsters. Both of them get along well with people and make terrific pets. Pygmy hedgehogs are nocturnal, like hamsters. They require a hamster wheel to run on when kept as pets, and they use it at night. Pygmy hedgehogs reside in grassy drylands or dunes in the wild, just like hamsters do. However, their diets are highly dissimilar.

Pygmy Hedgehogs

Pygmy hedgehogs primarily consume worms and insects. Additionally, they consume some tiny vertebrates and bird eggs. They don’t resemble hamsters at all. They have longer noses, for example. In addition, they lack fur in favor of a spikey coat. However, the spikes are not too sharp for humans. They can live for 4 to 6 years in human care, which is a lot longer than hamsters can. Although they lack cuddliness, they are amicable and entertaining.

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In the end, I hope you understand all about Are Capybaras Big Hamsters? Rodents include hamsters and other common pets, including gerbils, guinea pigs, mice, and rats. The majority of the world has been invaded by rodents, a massive group of mammals, with opportunistic mice and rats in particular venturing into towns, aboard ships, and distant areas and islands (where they invariably do terrible damage to the local ecosystem).

Since most predators in the world prefer little rodents, many members of the rodent family prefer to dwell in caves, trees, or dense vegetation. Rodents range in size from little critters like mice, hamsters, voles, and lemmings to large animals like coypu (nutria), agouti, and muskrat, as well as giants like beavers and capybaras.

Along with other species like the coypu, muskrat, and water vole, these larger rodents have evolved to live a semi-aquatic lifestyle. But the rodents that we usually keep as pets are the ones that prefer to hide out in tunnels or other dim areas.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are capybaras just giant guinea pigs?

The Capybara, which can weigh up to 140 pounds and is essentially a vast guinea pig, thrives on a diet of grass and its waste. Native to South America, these friendly, almost cow-like mammals spend their entire lives alternating between grasslands and water.

Are capybaras giant rodents?

You considered the beaver to be a large rodent. The largest rodent on Earth is the Capybara, twice that size. Although a small invading population has been spotted in Florida, much of northern and central South America is home to these remarkable semi-aquatic mammals.

Do capybaras bite?

Capybaras are solid and capable of delivering bites with catastrophic effects, despite their general timidness and docility. The effective management of capybara attack victims includes thorough wound care, careful assessment of structures, tetanus vaccination, rabies prevention, suitable antibiotics, and follow-up.

Do capybaras let you pet them?

Capybaras are good pets since they enjoy being stroked and held. Due to their friendliness, enjoyment of being caressed, and relative ease of maintenance under the right circumstances, capybaras make good pets. Most capybaras kept as pets also like cuddling with their favorite people.

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