What Do Capybaras Smell Like

Capybaras are the gentle giants of the rodent world. They are known for their unique appearance and aquatic lifestyle.

One question that might have crossed your mind is: do capybaras smell?

No, Capybaras do not smell bad and they are actually very clean animals. They have an enzyme in their saliva that keeps their teeth from rotting and they have special belly glands that moisten their fur by secreting oil over it.

capybara in pool
Capybara enjoys a refreshing dip in the pool, they have a natural affinity for water.

Capybaras do have a distinct odor

While capybaras are known for their cleanliness but do have a distinct odor. This scent is neither unpleasant nor overwhelming.  But it’s definitely noticeable, especially for those who spend time around Capybaras 

The subtle smell of capybaras can be attributed to their aquatic lifestyle. Their thick fur is coated with natural oil, which not only repels water but also reduces the absorption of odors. This unique adaptation helps the capybara maintain its cleanliness.

The intensity of a capybara’s smell can change based on factors like humidity and stress. Some people might hardly notice the scent, while others may find it stronger. It’s a matter of personal sensitivity Overall, capybara’s distinct odor is unlikely to be an issue for most people.

Do Capybaras smell like Popcorn

Have you ever heard the myth that capybaras smell like popcorn?

Truth is, Capybaras don’t smell like popcorn. Capybara body odor originates from different glands compared to those found in mice and rats.

Capybara scent is virtually undetectable to humans, which might be the reason behind the popcorn myth.

So, if you’ve ever wondered whether these fascinating rodents smell like your favorite movie-night snack, rest assured that capybaras have their own unique scent that is far from popcorn-like!

Do Capybaras Stink?

Capybaras have a musky odor that is similar to that of beavers or muskrats but it is not easy to notice it. While their smell may be unpleasant for some people,  remember that this is natural for capybaras. There are some ways you can keep them from smelling too much in your home! 

What causes Capybara’s smell?

Curious about what causes the capybara’s distinct smell?

It comes from Capybaras scent glands, which are distributed across their bodies. These glands secrete a unique concoction of pheromones, fatty acids, and other chemicals, producing the capybara’s signature odor.

Capybaras use this scent as a means of communication, marking their territory, and even warning fellow capybaras of potential dangers. So, the smell might be puzzling to us, it’s a crucial aspect of the capybara’s social interactions and survival.

Does Capybara Poop Smell?

Capybara poop smell

Capybaras generally do not stink. However, their poop smells. But we wouldn’t go as far as calling it a bad or a pungent smell. Let’s say it is bearable and that’s more than we can say for many other animals.

As a matter of fact, it only begins to get very bad when there is a lot of it in a particular spot. And even then, it still wouldn’t smell as bad as dog feces.


While capybaras do emit a distinct odor, it is neither unpleasant nor overpowering for most people. Capybaras are surprisingly clean animals and their scent serves an essential role in their social interactions and survival.

So, if you ever have the opportunity to interact with these fascinating creatures, don’t let the fear of an unpleasant smell deter you. After all, their scent is just a small part of what makes capybaras truly fascinating!

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