Capybaras vs. Raccoons

What's the Difference?

Capybaras and raccoons are both mammals that are known for their adaptability and intelligence. However, they have distinct differences in terms of appearance and behavior. Capybaras are the largest rodents in the world and are known for their social nature, often living in groups and forming strong bonds with their fellow capybaras. Raccoons, on the other hand, are solitary animals that are known for their dexterous paws and ability to problem solve. While capybaras are herbivores that primarily feed on grasses and aquatic plants, raccoons are omnivores that have a varied diet including fruits, nuts, insects, and small animals. Despite these differences, both capybaras and raccoons are fascinating creatures that play important roles in their respective ecosystems.


Photo by Hoyoun Lee on Unsplash
HabitatSouth AmericaNorth America
Photo by Chris Ensminger on Unsplash

Further Detail

Physical Attributes

Capybaras are the largest rodents in the world, with a body length of around 4 feet and a weight of up to 150 pounds. They have a barrel-shaped body, short legs, and a long, thin face. Capybaras have webbed feet, which make them excellent swimmers. On the other hand, raccoons are much smaller in size, typically measuring around 2 to 3 feet in length and weighing between 10 to 30 pounds. They have a distinctive mask-like marking on their face and a bushy tail.


Capybaras are native to South America and can be found in a variety of habitats, including grasslands, forests, and wetlands. They are semi-aquatic animals and are often found near bodies of water. Raccoons, on the other hand, are native to North America but have also been introduced to other parts of the world. They are highly adaptable and can thrive in a wide range of habitats, including forests, urban areas, and marshes.


Capybaras are social animals that live in groups known as herds. They are known for their peaceful nature and are often seen grazing together. Capybaras are also known to be very vocal, using a variety of sounds to communicate with each other. Raccoons, on the other hand, are solitary animals that are primarily nocturnal. They are opportunistic feeders and will eat a wide range of foods, including fruits, nuts, insects, and small animals.


Capybaras have a gestation period of around 5 months and typically give birth to litters of 2 to 8 pups. The young are born fully furred and with their eyes open, and they are able to walk and swim shortly after birth. Raccoons have a shorter gestation period of around 2 months and give birth to litters of 2 to 5 kits. The kits are born blind and deaf and are completely dependent on their mother for the first few months of their lives.

Interactions with Humans

Capybaras are generally docile animals and are not aggressive towards humans. They are often found in zoos and wildlife parks, where they are popular attractions due to their friendly demeanor. Raccoons, on the other hand, have a reputation for being mischievous and can sometimes cause problems for humans, such as raiding garbage cans or causing damage to property. However, raccoons are also intelligent animals and can be trained to perform tricks or tasks.


In conclusion, capybaras and raccoons are both fascinating animals with unique attributes. While capybaras are known for their large size and social behavior, raccoons are smaller in size and more solitary. Both animals have adapted to a wide range of habitats and play important roles in their ecosystems. Whether you prefer the gentle nature of the capybara or the clever antics of the raccoon, both animals are sure to capture your interest and admiration.

Comparisons may contain inaccurate information about people, places, or facts. Please report any issues.