Guinea Pig is a small rodent that has stout body and no tail. They originated in the Andes and were domesticated as early as 5000 B.C. although they are not related to pigs but got their name for several reasons. They squeal (sound) and their physical appearance is somewhat similar to pigs, although they are a lot smaller.
Their scientific name is “Cavia Porcellus”. They are very active during the day and comparatively less active at night. Males are called boars, females are called sows and babies are called pups.
Quick Facts: –
- Guinea Pigs prefer to live on grassy plains and semi-arid deserts. They live in social groups known as herds.
- Their average lifespan can range anywhere between 4 to 7 years.
- Their diet needs to be supplemented with Vitamin C as their body cannot produce it naturally.
- They have a strong hearing sense and can hear sounds of up to 40,000 to 50,000 Hz.
- There are two major categories of Guinea Pigs – short haired and long haired.
- The pups are able to run within a few hours of their birth.
- At the time of the birth they can weigh about 3 ounces and 1-2 pounds when fully grown.
- They have one of the longest gestation period for pet rodents ranging anywhere between 59 to 72 days.
- These small rodents have 4 toes on their front feet but only 3 on their back ones.
- They make very good pets but should not be restricted by leashes as their soft spine structure is not able to tolerate the stress.