One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A large semiaquatic beaver-like rodent, native to South America. It is kept in captivity for its fur and has become naturalized in many other areas.
- ‘Nutria, called Myocastor coypus, have added to the destruction by devouring wetlands.’
- ‘These include the capybara, the agouti, the coypu, the cavy and the chinchilla.’
- ‘Cattle, and goats are susceptible to FMD and some wild animal such as coypu can also become infected.’
- ‘My guess is it's a coypu - a large South American rodent.’
Late 18th century: from Araucanian.
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