nutria


nu·tria

noun \ˈnü-trē-ə, ˈnyü-\

Definition of NUTRIA

1
:  the durable usually light brown fur of a nutria
2
:  a large South American semiaquatic rodent (Myocastor coypus) with webbed hind feet and a round nearly hairless tail that has been introduced into parts of Europe, Asia, and North America

Origin of NUTRIA

American Spanish, from Spanish, otter, modification of Latin lutra; probably akin to Old English oter otter
First Known Use: 1820

nutria

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Nutria (Myocastor coypus) feeding.—Douglas Fisher

Semiaquatic South American rodent (Myocastor coypus) in the hutia family (Capromyidae). The nutria has small ears, a long, rounded, scaly tail, partially webbed hind feet, and broad orange incisors. It is about 40 in. (1 m) long, including the tail, and may weigh 18 lbs (8 kg). Its reddish brown fur consists of coarse guard hairs overlying a soft undercoat. The nutria lives in a shallow burrow along a pond or river and mainly eats aquatic plants. Because their fur is valuable, nutrias were introduced into North America and Europe, and in some places have become pests that damage crops and compete with other wildlife.

Variants of NUTRIA

nutria or coypu

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