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All Aboard the Capybara Train

The Santa Barbara Zoo's four new 4-month-old capybaras are now out on exhibit near the courtyard as of Tuesday, March 2, 2010. This adorable litter, consisting of 3 males and 1 female, came to the Santa Barbara Zoo from the Alameda Park Zoo in New Mexico. Capybaras are the world's largest rodent from Central and South America, and can grow up to 4 feet long and 100-150 pounds! Nicknamed "swamp hogs," capybaras are dependent on water and well adapted to it - they even have webbed feet. Capybaras swim and dive freely and can stay submerged underwater for up to five minutes. They also wallow in water to protect skin from hot sun. Like all rodents, capybaras must chew and gnaw to wear down continually growing teeth. They tend to live in groups of about 20 adults.