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.
Myocastor coypus, the only member of the family Myocastoridae
- ‘These include the capybara, the agouti, the coypu, the cavy and the chinchilla.’
- ‘Nutria, called Myocastor coypus, have added to the destruction by devouring wetlands.’
- ‘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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