World’s Largest Rodent Born at Paignton Zoo

On August 18th, the UK's Paignton Zoo welcomed a baby Capybara to parents David and Davina. Sometimes called a the Giant Guinea Pig, these massive rodents can grow four feet long (a rodent of unusual size perhaps?). Capybaras love to lounge, and even sleep, in swamps and rivers with only their eyes and nostrils poking out.

Baby capybara Paignton Zoo 1

Baby capybara Paignton Zoo 1

Baby capybara Paignton Zoo 1

Family portrait

Baby capybara Paignton Zoo 1

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Three Patagonian Cavy Pups

Three Patgonian Cavy (also known as Mara) pups have been born under the watchful eye of keepers at Shepreth Wildlife Park this month. The triplets have caused quite a stir at the Cambridgeshire wildlife collection, which has never had triplets born in this species before. Normally this species will give birth to singles or twins. The healthy trio can be seen alongside fellow oversized rodents - two resident Capybara brothers.

Patagonian cavies shepreth wildlife park 3

Patagonian cavies shepreth wildlife park 3

Patagonian cavies shepreth wildlife park 3

Prairie Pups Are Out in Force

It's baby prairie dog season at the Nuremberg Zoo in Germany and, lucky for us, photographer dark-ness spent two days there capturing prarie dogs doing what they do best: eating and greeting one another. As we mentioned in a previous post, prairie dogs live in "towns" of tens of thousands or more and touch noses to say hello.

Prairie dog pups numberg zoo 1

Prairie dog pups numberg zoo 2

Open wide!

Prairie dog pups numberg zoo 4rs

Prairie dog pups numberg zoo 6

More pics below the fold.

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Tiny Things Debut at the SF Zoo!

Earlier this week the San Francisco Zoo introduced some of their newest, and smallest, friends to the public. First we have two baby Emperor tamarin twins who will spend the next few weeks clinging tightly to mom's back. This species gets its name from the regal mustaches of adulthood. Secondly we have a feisty black-tailed prairie dog pup. Prairie dogs are a type of highly social ground squirrel that live in huge "towns" made up of countless individuals across hundreds of miles. They often make "house calls" on neighbors and greet each other by touching noses, which looks an awful lot like Eskimo kisses.

Baby tamarin san francisco zoo 1

Baby tamarin san francisco zoo 2

Baby tamarin san francisco zoo 3

Baby prarie dog san francisco zoo 2

Kisses for mom!

Baby prarie dog san francisco zoo 1

Photo credits: Tamarins twins - Amy Hansen, Prairie pups - Marianne Hale

Albino "Carpincho" at M'Bopicua

On Christmas Day, Uruguay's M'Bopicua Breeding Station welcomed two little capybaras, or "carpinchos" as they are known in Spanish. One of the little girls turned out to be an albino and was named "Snow White."  Although she looks suspiciously like a big guinea pig as an infant, as an adult she could grow to be over four feet long and over 230 lbs. (note: an average capybara only weighs around 100 lbs. in adulthood but maybe Snow White will be extra well fed...).

Albino capybara mbopicua 1 rs Albino capybara mbopicua 2 rs Albino capybara mbopicua 3 rs

World's Largest Rodent Has Three Tiny Babies

The Buffalo Zoo welcomed three baby capybaras on September 10th. The zoo tells us that the three babies were running around and even swimming the day they were born. The proud capybara parents have had three previous litters for a total of 20 offspring! Capybaras are the world's largest rodent with the largest recorded size at 232 lbs (105 kg)!

Looking serious...

Baby capybara buffalo zoo 3 

Baby capybara buffalo zoo 4
Photo credits: Buffalo Zoo


The feisty Vancouver Island Marmot is Canada's most endangered mammal with only an estimated 30 living in the wild in 2003. However, institutions like the Calgary and Toronto Zoos launched aggressive breeding and release programs that have since bolstered the wild population to 200 or more. These pups were born at the Calgary Zoo on June 30th and the Toronto Zoo just welcomed a litter this week!

Vancouver island marmot baby and mom

Vancouver island marmot calgary zoo

Photo credits © Oli Gardner

Three little pups peer out of their nesting box

Three little marmots noses

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Baby Cape Porcupine aka "Prickly Piggy"

This baby Cape porcupine was born June 6th at Switzerland's Zoo Basel. Unusually long-lived for a rodent, Cape porcupines live up to 20 years. Although the English name is hardly any better, we are always amused by the German translations of animal names, in this case the German word for "baby porcupine" roughly translates to "Prickly Piggy." 

Mom has food. Baby prickly pig is intrigued
Baby porcupine zoo basel 1 rs

Baby porcupine zoo basel 1b rs

Perhaps nuzzling will provide access to delicious carrot
Baby porcupine zoo basel 2

Baby porcupine zoo basel 3 rs closeup

Is there delicious carrot in this porcu's future? Tune in next week to find out.

Malagasy Jumping Rat Pup

More closely related to mice than rats, Malagasy jumping rats are highly endangered on their native island of Madagascar. Unlike many of their rodent brethren, Malagasy jumping rats are not prolific breeders, giving birth to only one pup a year, making this new arrival at the Prospect Park Zoo very special.

Baby malagasy jumping rat prospect park zoo

Mamma jumping rat is quite attentive to her rare little pup

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