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Myocastor coypus




Foto: Jan Ole Kriegs
The Coypu, also known as River Rat or Nutria, is a rodent originally native to South America and a general relative of guinea pigs and capybaras. Superficially the Coypu resembles a beaver, but it has a round tail, and with 70 cm does not reach the length of a beaver, which can reach over 1 m. Like the beaver, the Coypu is an aquatic animal that always stays in or near bodies of water. Coypus are vegetarian feeders on water plants on riparian vegetation. Even corn that is planted near water is readily eaten. They are active nocturnally and diurnally. The animal dig burrows into the bank or build nest from vegetable matter where they locate their living chamber.
Since the 1920s they were kept in fur farms from where some animals repeatedly escaped. The European populations are derived from such escapees. In North Rhine-Westphalia the species is practically distributed area-wide. In most flowing and standing water bodies the Coypu is relatively common.


Jan Ole Kriegs


Kriegs JO (2023): Nutria (Myocastor coypus).In: AG Säugetierkunde NRW — Online-Atlas of the mammals of North Rhine-Westphalia. Downloaded from saeugeratlas-nrw.lwl.org on 2023/03/27



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