How Long Can Capybaras Hold Their Breath – 5 Minutes?

It was quite fascinating for me to see how long can capybaras hold their breath underwater as I have many capybaras in my home.

I have 6 capybaras now, and watching them closely, I can say they can hold their breath for almost 4-5 minutes at once.

How Long Can Capybaras Hold Their Breath Underwater

As capybaras are semi-aquatic animals. I thought they could hold their breath for much longer. My capybaras can hold their breath for a maximum of 5 minutes.

Then I contacted some of my friends who also own capybaras in Michigan, and he said the same thing, his capybaras stay underwater for a maximum of 5 minutes.

Let me tell you not all my capybaras hold their breath for 5 minutes, there are two capybaras, who can hold their breath for a shorter duration, say 3.5-4 minutes.

This means, that how long a capybara can hold their breath may depend on several factors.

But what can be those factors that affect the capability of a capybara to hold their breath for a longer duration?

What I can understand from my capybaras is, that the older ones are less capable of holding their breath while the two capybaras who are in their middle age are active and are able to hold their breath for 5 minutes easily.

Whereas the 2 younger capybaras have less experience and are able to hold their breath for 3.5 to 4 minutes.

So, I can say age is one factor. Apart from this, I feel climate can be another factor.

When I asked my friend about his capybaras, he told me that during winters, due to cold water, the capybaras sometimes struggle to stay underwater for too long.

I can deduce two factors as of now, if you have any other, please comment below.

How Do Capybaras Breathe

Now, another question a lot of people who want to own a capybara as a pet, have asked me that how do capybaras breathe.

They have this confusion as the capybaras are semi-aquatic animals, and they spend most of their time inside water.

Capybaras breathe through their noses outside the water, just like any other land animal or human.

However, they can be in the water for hours keeping their nose up to the surface of the water to breathe, or can hold their breath for 5 minutes and come back to the surface to breathe.

How Long Can Capybaras Hold Their Breath

Can Capybaras Breathe Underwater

No, capybaras can’t breathe underwater, they are not made like that. Capybaras are basically land animals, although they do spend a lot of their time swimming and being submerged in the water.

Capybaras are not aquatic animals, they are mammals that thrive on land, although they are mostly found near water bodies like lakes or riverbanks, they do need to come to the surface to breathe.

They have lungs that breathe oxygen and are not capable of extracting oxygen from the water as a fish can.

Capybara Breathing Facts

Apart from holding their breath for almost 5 minutes underwater, I was surprised when I first saw my capybara sleeping underwater with his nose outside the water’s surface.

It’s not uncommon for them to take a full nap, actually, now I see it almost daily, capybaras sleep underwater with their nose up and outside it.

When you look at them closely, you’ll understand, that their nose is made like that, they have a nose on top of their head, which allows them to keep their nose outside the water surface while being submerged inside the water.

To Wrap Up

I hope you got your answer to how long can capybaras hold their breath underwater. If you are willing to own a capybara, make sure to have a pool for them as they love water. They can be inside the water and hold their breath for almost 5 minutes.

If you have any other queries, you can ask in the comments below.

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