Making My Mark


Sweet innocence

I know what you’re thinking, how could such a sweet little capy face possibly get into any trouble? It’s just not possible! And you’re right! I am the sweetest, nicest, most considerate capybara in the entire world. I never do anything bad at all.

That branch is a little too high

But let’s be reasonable here, I am still a capybara! I have capybara needs and desires! It’s only natural. And one of those desires is to mark my territory just in case another capybara sneaks into the yard while I am not looking. I want him to be able to smell that this is my territory, my home, and if he/she wants to stay, they have to get my permission.

Marking with my morillo

I have two ways to mark my territory. The first is to use the gland on the top of my nose. This is called a morillo. You might have noticed it. On my nose it is just a little dark mound with sparse hair. That’s because I am neutered. On dominant males, the morillo really does turn into a little hill, just like the name implies. Anyway, both male and female capys have morillos and we use them liberally to mark what is ours. The surface of the morillo feels waxy and it is that wax that we transfer to other surfaces to mark them.

Marking with my anal gland

We also have an anal gland that is very, very useful for marking things. In the photo above, I have pushed over a little branch and I am giving it a good dousing with my anal gland.

I love this branch

It is hard to find the perfect branch to mark with my anal gland. It has to be at just the right height and have a certain amount of springiness. Once you find such a branch, you want to make sure it is well marked or another capybara might come by and mark it for him/herself while you aren’t looking.

That should do it

Marking branches is only for outside, there aren’t any branches in the house. In the house I typically mark pillows, shoes or other human clothing left lying around. This has made Melly very neat but, luckily, hasn’t had any effect on My Rick at all.

The finishing touches

Once you’re done marking, the age old question rears its ugly head again–what to do next?


I'm ready!

I decided not to chase Oakley Bunny and instead opted for a walk. The beauty of a walk is that I can spend almost the whole time rubbing my morillo on the leash! Melly holds it for me at just the right height.

Making My Mark

Above is a very short video of me marking my tree. There is a surprise ending so make sure you watch!

12 comments to Making My Mark

  • francine

    You are full of surprises, Gari!

  • Ann M. Bednarek

    Gari, you are one remarkable marker. And no the bark did not scare me. I thought it was cute. What made you do that? Did you think I was at your door? I sure hope that’s how excited you’d be if I came to visit! That is on my “bucket list” I love you! And Melly too. <3 <3

  • rosenatti

    Gari, you & Caplin are on Buzzfeed again (thanks to your Tumblr account):

  • Laurie Coppola

    Melly and Rick must just love you marking their stuff as your territory, lol! Glad you have a routine when you go outside!

  • Beverly B

    Very interesting Gari!

  • Stephanie Labbate

    Just wondering…what are the chances of another Capybara in Texas just randomly wandering into your yard? But you never know….

    Interesting blog…

  • Damien N Sally CHAN

    Innocent…….. >.<

    We love the cover photo illustrating you're happily in mud though….

  • Lynn

    This anal gland marking is the first I’ve heard!
    Have you been keeping it a secret???

  • Gabby

    I know males fight and those with a herd must chase off competitors, but would a male capybara allow a wandering female (if there is such a thing) into his territory or would he chase her off because she’s a stranger who’s not part of his herd?

  • Garibaldi Rous

    Gabby: I don’t know. I suspect males would try to coerce a wandering female into their own herd but I have not seen any documentation of this.

  • Janet Lutkus

    You go Gari! Keep those other Capys in line! They’ll be sure to ask permission before they enter YOUR yard… 🙂 I know I would.

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