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Capybaras enjoy hot springs at Saitama Children’s Zoo

A large group of capybaras enjoy a “pomelo bath” in the hot springs during a cold spell at Saitama Children’s Zoo in Higashi Matsuyama, Saitama, Japan. Semi-aquatic relatives of the guinea pig, capybaras have slightly webbed feet and are native to South America lands nearby marshes, ponds, flooded savannahs, rivers… clearly, they love water. From the San Diego Zoo:

Water is a source of life for the capybara, as the animal eats water plants and grasses and uses the water itself to escape from danger. In fact, a capybara can stay underwater for up to five minutes at a time to hide from predators. It uses those webbed feet (four toes on each front foot and three on each back one) to swim as well as walk.

The capybara has something in common with the hippo: its eyes, ears, and nostrils are all found near the top of the animal’s head. A capy can lift just those parts out of the water to learn everything it needs to know about its surroundings while the rest of its body remains hidden underwater.

Here’s one more video at Saitama Children’s Zoo. The capybaras are enjoying a traditional yuzu citrus fruit bath (a yuzu-yu).

The largest rodent in the world also happens to make for restful watching. You can find lots of photos at Zooborns.com and/or watch more adorable capybara videos in the archives, including this one: “Enjoy scratching with many capybaras” while they sleep.

via BoingBoing.

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