Nutria (coypu) popular name of a species and genus of rodent in the family Capromyidac. it resembles a large water rat. Its maximum length is about 2 ft. its general colour a brownish-red, and the edges of the lips and muzzle are whitish. It has short limbs, small ears, a long naked tail, and the hind feet are webbed. The fur (nutria) is used for coats, and the flesh is sometimes eaten.
The diet of the coypu is principally vegetarian. Following its accidental release in this country it has become a minor pest, particularly in the Norfolk Broads. The Ministry of Agriculture has declared it a pest, and £70,000 have been spent on recent campaigns to reduce its numbers. It does damage to rends and riv, banks, and may also damage some crops.
10 Characteristics of Nutria(Coypu);You Must Know
- Physically it is a medium-sized animal with a weight that varies between 5 and 10 kilograms, with males that are larger than females.
- The nutria finds its natural habitat near rivers and lakes or in swampy areas where it can get food.
- The nutria does not live alone, but in groups of about ten specimens with a dominant female.
- Nutria is a Mammal and belongs to the Rodents family. Very similar to a large mouse, it can be from 40 to 60 cm long for about 7-10 kg of weight, has a big head and a short snout. The tail of 30-45 cm is cylindrical with sparse hairs, the legs are short with five fingers, and the back ones are provided with a swimming membrane. The hair is soft and brown in color.
- it feeds mainly on roots, tubers, leaves and grains of cereals, but also eats meat and fish.
- The hair is long and rigid and protects a softer, softer undercoat in shades of gray. The tail is shorter than the whole body, but can even reach 60 centimeters in length.
- The nutria prefer aquatic plants and spontaneous vegetation. Only in the shortage of food can they feed on crops but only plants closer to the waterways.