• 魚には鱗があるが、カピバラには毛皮がある
  • 魚はえらで呼吸し、カピバラにはかっこいい鼻がある
  • 魚は水中で呼吸し、カピバラは空気を吸う
  • 魚はひれがあり、カピバラは脚がある
  • 魚は変温動物(冷血動物)で、カピバラは高温動物(温血動物)
  • 魚には瞼がないが、カピバラは瞼ときれいな睫がある
  • 魚は色々な変わった色をしているが、カピバラは(他の哺乳類同様)茶色っぽい色をしている
  • 魚には耳がないが、カピバラはかわいい耳があり、うれしいときは耳を動かす


  • 魚もカピバラも水中を泳ぐ
  • 魚もカピバラも脊椎動物である(背骨がある)
  • カピバラは歯があり、魚にも歯をもつものがある



What I Am Not: A Fish

Me swimming like a fish

Of all the things I have been confused with, a fish must be the craziest. I am bringing this up now because it is almost Easter. This is a very bad time for wild capybaras and it is all because of us being confused with fish. Before we get into why, let me just go over some of our similarities and differences.

Some ways we are different:

  • Fish have scales, capybaras have fur
  • Fish breath with gills, capybaras have beautiful noses
  • Fish breath water, capybaras breath air
  • Fish have fins, capybaras have legs
  • Fish are exothermic (cold-blooded), capybaras are endothermic (warm-blooded)
  • Fish don’t have eyelids, capybaras have eyelids with beautiful lashes
  • Fish come in all kinds of crazy colors, capybaras, like almost all mammals, are a shade of brown
  • Fish don’t have ears, capybaras have very cute ears that we wiggle when happy

Some ways we are similar:

  • Fish and capybaras both swim underwater
  • Fish and capybaras are both vertebrates (have backbones)
  • Some fish and all capybaras have teeth

To be honest, there aren’t many similarities and I really skimped on the differences. To me, it is virtually impossible to confuse a capybara with a fish, but it has been done.

In fact, the confusion started in the 16th century when a group of monks convinced the “infallible” pope, that capybaras were fish just so their new converts could eat us during lent. For those of you who don’t know, there used to be a restriction against eating meat during lent, which is the 40 days leading up to Easter.  Since the converts weren’t going to follow this restriction anyway, the monks thought it would be better if the pope condoned it rather than having all of their new parishioners breaking the faith.

Venezuelans still eat lots of capybaras during lent and this makes me very, very sad.