The world's largest rodent might be the perfect pet for you

You may not have seen one of these before but they do exist and they are very social.

This funny-looking, furry creature is a capybara- the largest rodent in the world. They're extraordinary creatures, sometimes known as giant hamsters. But if'largest rodent in the world' doesn't sound too appealing to you, it's worth knowing that they're also known as 'the friendliest creature on the planet' and you might start to understand why some people keep them as pets.

Capybaras can grow to around 4 feet in length and weigh up to 10 st 5lb. They are semi-aquatic mammals indigenous to the forests and marshes of South America.

Friendly critters

Highly social, they have been observed interacting with a wide variety of other animals, including ducklings, tortoises, deer, kittens, monkeys and caimans.

Sadly though, these rodents don't have a very long lifespan. They can live 8 to 10 years when kept as pets but aren't likely to survive past 4 years old in the wild. They are herbivores, eating a diet mainly consisting of grass and aquatic plants.

A high maintenance pet

However, they have to beware of many predators including pumas, jaguars, eagles and ocelots. In the wild, they live in groups of 10 - 20 so anyone wishing to adopt a capybara should take on at least 2 so that they don't get lonely.

They will also need access to a pool to swim around in, so, as well as being a rather unusual pet, they're also kind of high-maintenance! They're legal to own in the states of Texas and Pennsylvania in the USA.

Check out the video above to see just how adorable these rodents can be!

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