Coypu Nutria or Marmot or Prairie Dog Relaxing

Coypu or Nutria

This image of the day is a little different. This is a Coypu or Nutria, sort of like a beaver with a cat-like tail.

The coypu or nutria (Myocastor coypus) is a large, herbivorous, semi-aquatic rodent and the only member of the family Myocastoridae. Originally native to temperate South America, it has since been introduced to North America, Europe, Asia and Africa, primarily by fur ranchers.

This, not so little, guy just sat here with me for about an hour. Animals can be a lot of fun to photograph, if they cooperate, and they usually don’t. When trying out wildlife photography, best to use a very long lens if you can, at least a 200mm would be a good place to start. Isolate the background by using a very small aperture (stop all the way down to f2.8 if you have that fast of a lens).

The point of focus is almost always going to be on their eyes. You want the eyes to be in sharp focus and just let the rest of the image fall where it does. Even with the focus on his eyes here, you can see some pretty good detail in his paws.

If you can use a directional flash without disturbing the animal it will give just enough of a flash off their eyes to make them look more real, not like a wax figure.

Image Specifics

  • Body – Nikon D2X
  • Lens – Nikon 80-200mm f2.8, with a Nikon 1.4x teleconverter
  • Shot at f4 (due to the one stop loss from the teleconverter) @ 1/400 sec.
  • Film – digital @ ISO-100

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