Capybaras cry in the sense they have tear ducts to moisturise their eyes, but they do not emotionally cry like humans.
What i mean by that is that capybaras, and for that matter most mammals, do not cry when they’re sad or happy. That’s exclusive to humans and likely has something to do with our more advanced brains. We have more processing power and can feel emotions more thoroughly. That isn’t to say that all animals are emotionally numb though, they can often feel a wide range of feelings!
Animals do have tear ducts, but they act only to moisturise their eyes and prevent them from drying out; not to show an appropriate reaction to marley and me. So in a technical sense, they produce tears and therefore cry. However this is a far cry from having tears streaming down your face at the end of warhorse or some other tragic animal-related movie.
What emotions can a capybara feel?
Now that we’ve established that they can be sad without crying, let’s talk about why? What would make a capybara sad and what would they behave like as a result?
Capybaras are social creatures by nature. Very social. SO social in fact, that most animals have absolutely no problem hanging out with the giant guys.(including alligators!) Check out our other blog about capybaras here to learn more. This sociable quality of the world’s favourite rodent means that they need a friend or companion to communicate with. Much like guinea pigs, without a fellow member of the same species capybaras can become lethargic, agitated and depressed.
This heartbreaking fact shows that just because an animal can’t physically cry, that doesn’t mean they don’t feel sorrow or loneliness; they’re almost human in that way! So next time someone asks you the age old question ‘can capybaras cry?’ you can tell them ‘no, but they do get sad.’
Are there any animals that CAN cry?
Sadly, the honest answer is no. Humans are unique in our ability (some may call it a curse) to cry whenever we feel strong emotions. Whether it’s seeing your partner after months apart or finding out theres no apple juice left in the fridge (hey, we all have our problems) we’re a big load of cryers. Unfortunately though, the same cannot be said for animals. Their tears exist purely as eyeball lubricant, nothing else.
That isn’t to say they don’t express emotion in other ways though. A baby seperated from its mother will cry, shriek and wail in despair for example. Elephants can feel sadness so deeply they can actually die! This is a phenomenon exclusive to elephants, but they can infact die after losing a mate. Truly soul shattering to hear.
Emotions are complicated, and measuring how deeply an animal feels them or how much of a variety they experience is difficult. What we do know, is that much like humans animals can feel sadness, happiness and excitement. They cry when they lose their mothers, purr when they’re being petted and can even die from grief. So yes, a capybaras cry is just myth and legend but its sadness is real and comes from loneliness just like many of us.
Animal-Club provides animal parties or animal handling workshops. You will be able to see, learn and interact with many wonderful animals with the help of our presenters. Our mobile zoo has many friendly animals such as rabbits, tarantulas, geckos, vinegaroons and more, perfect for an animal party. We can also come over to your school for an animal school visit or arrange for an animal workshop with us where the children can learn about looking after animals and animal behaviour, and have fun too.