Let’s talk tails. The first thing to ask yourself is, do capybaras even have a tail to talk about? The answer is a resounding YES! And a somewhat less resounding no.
Let’s go over the yes part first since that is the good part.
Above is a photo showing my cute little nub of a tail. I have drawn an arrow and circled it for you. It’s not very big or very obvious, but it is there.
And I am not the only capybara to have a tail.
Apparently both capybara species have similarly sporty tails as seen on the photo of an adult female that Melly took in Panama. You might want to click on the photo to enlarge it because the tail is quite difficult to see.
So clearly we have tails…or do we?
Isn’t that amazing? The vets at Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine know how to take pictures of the INSIDE of a capybara! Who would have thought? My insides look very nice, don’t they? I wonder if those circle things are partially digested plastic bags. Melly is always worrying about me and plastic bags but they are sooo very delicious.
Back on topic. Do you see how my backbone extends all the long way down to my rump? And then it stops. And then there is a little light part just past the end of my backbone. That little thing is my tail. But in some ways that makes it not a real tail because the tails of animals like dogs and cats and lizards and horses have the backbone extending into the tail itself. That’s what makes it so they can move it. I can’t move my tail at all because it is not attached to anything.
Melly sometimes tells a kind-of gross story about Caplin Rous. One day she and Caplin were entertaining some kids at a school down in San Antonio when Melly noticed a little spot of blood on the ground. She didn’t say anything about it because she didn’t want to scare the kids. When she got a chance, she looked over Caplin and found he was bleeding just a little bit around the rear end. Looking around on the ground, she found his tail! It came right off! Melly says Caplin never even noticed. Dobby Winnick, of Dobby’s Day fame, claims he does not have a tail. I wonder if the same thing happened to him, he is Caplin’s brother so it makes sense.
I hope I never lose my tail.