The above photo is probably the most famous photo of any capybara’s eye, mainly because there are not really any famous photos of capybara eyes. I’d like to change that. Clearly, Caplin Rous had the prettiest eyes ever but all capybaras have lovely, cool, interesting eyes.
I started thinking about eyes after watching that Wild Venezuela: The Capybara video. I got upset when they said we capybaras have “protruding eyes.” That is just not true! You can see in the photo above that my eyes do not protrude. Do I look like a frog to you? I don’t think so.
But there’s more that’s great about our eyes than just that they don’t protrude. Our eyes are not just beautiful, they are also specially adapted for our life in the open flood plains of South America.
It’s bright out in the llanos and a capybara can’t usually find any decent shade. So our eyes have adapted to close in thirds. We can close just the back third as Caplin Rous is doing in the above photo.
Or we can close just the front 1/3. Okay, I admit that in the photo above I am kind of squinting in the back but you can still see how different my eye looks in this photo than Caplin’s eye looks in the previous photo.
In the photo above I am underwater but you can see that both the front and the back thirds of my eye are closed with only the middle third open. I’ll bet you can’t do that. (Unless you are a capybara, in which case I am not betting.)
I go into a kind of trance when Bakersfield is around, as you can see from the photo above. That little rat makes me so happy. My fur puffs up all over and I roll onto my side and close my eyes. You can see that when my eyes are completely closed, they just look like a long, black line.
If you look back at the photos, you might also notice that we have wonderfully long, dark lashes. But did you see that they are only on the middle third of our eye?
Every part of a capybara is cute but I think maybe our eyes are our cutest feature.