One of giant rodents of a Neocene, the descendant of African reed rats. Reaches the size of a brown bear. A constitution is massive, paws are short, a head is large and massive. Lives by family groups of the main female, the male and cubs of two last packs. Elder youngsters leave parents and form herds inside which the pairs giving the beginnings to family groups later are formed. In a pack usually there are 3 - 4 cubs. Eats sprouts and roots of plants, is able to dig out tubers by incisors (length up to 25 cm). In case of need animal is able to climb trees. Colouring of a back is gray-brown with dim small spots, a stomach is black with contrast white irregular-shaped spots. Defending of predators, the group of animals rises on hinder legs in a circle, hiding cubs of last pack, and shows to a predator contrast-coloured bellies (warning colouring) and large bared incisors. From time to time one of animals lunges on a predator, trying to bite it. Voice sounds like a grunt, during defense or breeding tournaments animals utter hoarse growl.