Evolution and systematics

The coypu (from the native South American Araconian word koypu) is also known as the nutria (from the corrupted Spanish word lutra, meaning "otter"). It is sometimes also referred to as the South American beaver. The geological range is the late Oligocene epoch (about 38 million to 24 million years ago) to the Recent in South America.

Originally considered a subfamily of the Hutias (Capromyi-dae), coypus have more recently been distinguished from the other rodents due to their large size and strong, broad, orange-colored incisors.

The taxonomy for this species is Myocastor coypus (Molina, 1782), Rio Maipo, Santiago Prov., Chile.

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