Its homeland is South America. In our country, it is found mainly along the rivers of South-Eastern Bulgaria. It lives in pairs in marshy areas and around small fresh and salt water basins, overgrown with swamp vegetation.
The nutria is one of the largest rodents, with a short and thick body, a long head with a blunt snout, short ears and long whiskers. It is an excellent swimmer. Its forelimbs are shorter, with five long digits adapted for grasping. The three middle digits of the five ones on quite longer hind limbs are joined by a floating web. The length of the body reaches up to 55 cm and the tail - up to 20 - 35 cm. It weighs up to 10 kg. It is covered with a thick fur of two layers - an upper one of long shiny hairs and under it - soft, dense wool, almost waterproof. Its coat is variously colored - the predominant color is dull gray at the base to brownish yellow to the tip. The belly is grayish brown and the back is chestnut brown. Animals with white or yellow fur are found, too.
It builds its dens (holes) with an exit at the water level. The camera is located in such a way that it cannot be flooded even at high river waters. The nutria is active at night. It comes out to eat in the evening. It is mainly herbivorous. In addition to swamp and waterside vegetation, its menu includes the seeds, fruit and green mass of agricultural crops located around the water basins - corn, beets, carrots, clover, alfalfa, etc. The nutrias do not eat fish. The animal food, as it presents in their nutritional spectrum, consists of shellfish and small molluscs.
The nutria has no breeding season. Its pregnancy lasts about 120-130 days, after which the female gives birth to 5-6 fully developed babies. Its sexual maturity occurs at 5 months. It lives 6-10 years.