Thursday, January 5, 2017

Watercolor Rodents #3: Capybara

From my travel journal, chronicling my trip to La Tigra National Park in Honduras, December 10, 2005:
̏The park, supposedly a dry cloud forest, behaved like a rain forest and was very wet. In the second part, mostly, I felt how non waterproof my shoes were. I was soaked from the knees down. And it was dark and foggy at times. The birds, also, didn't like it, so I haven't seen many. Actually, I probably saw more birds outside the park. I saw woodpeckers, a blackbird the size of a jay, with bright blue wings, a black bird with yellow back, his wife, and black birds with shiny wings that seemed blue when they were flying. At first, I was dissapointed - I heard many sounds of wildlife, but saw nothing but some small gray songbirds and some pigeons (!!) 
"But then I saw this cute creature! I think it's called capibara [sic]. He was standing on the path for a while and then ran away. That was worth the whole 5-hour hike! It really made my day!"
Turns out I actually didn't see a capybara. Capybaras are only found naturally in South America, not Central America. What I saw was probably an agouti, which is a distant relative. Capybaras are the largest rodents and they are more closely related to guinea pigs than to agoutis. Live and learn!

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