Surname: Guinea pig
Other names: House guinea pig
Latin name: Cavia porcellus
mass: 500 - 1200g
Older: up to 10 years
Appearance: many color variations possible
Sexual dimorphism: No
Nutrition type: Herbivore (herbivor)
food: Grasses, hay, vegetables
distribution: as a pet worldwide
original origin: South America
Sleep-wake rhythm: diurnal
habitat: High mountains
natural enemies: none (only for pet ownership)
sexual maturity: about 30 days
mating season: all year round
gestation: 50 - 150 days (depending on the species)
litter size: 2 - 6 cubs
social behavior: Pack animal
Threatened with extinction: No
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.
Also of interest is the comparison of hamsters and guinea pigs.
Interesting facts about the guinea pig
- The guinea pig was originally native to South America, but today is a popular pet in many countries around the world. Some wild forms were already domesticated by the Indians.
- The family of guinea pigs is composed of several subgroups, which differ greatly in appearance and habitat. While the Pampas and Capybara are found only in the wild, the house guinea pig is widely used as a pet in Europe and America.
- In total there are fourteen different types of guinea pigs, divided into six genera.
- The small to medium-sized rodent owes its name to the fact that it came to Europe via the sea on the ships of the sailors, on the other hand the characteristic sounds that remind of the squealing of young piglets.
- Wild guinea pigs live in many South American countries and colonize different habitats in the grassy lowlands, in barren stone landscapes and in the high mountains of the Andes.
- Many species are excellent climbers, also on trees and looking for food there, other guinea pigs are in swampy areas and therefore can swim very well.
- Depending on the species guinea pigs can be up to 130 inches long and have short legs as well as long limbs, which give them a similar appearance to the rabbit. Common to all guinea pigs, including the domesticated species, the structure of the skull and the nature of the jaw. Their dense and short coat usually appears in different shades of brown and gray.
- Domestic guinea pigs can reach body sizes of up to 30 centimeters and in contrast to the wild species by their colorful fur, which can appear in different drawings and in white, black and various shades of brown and ocher. Most domestic guinea pigs have a smooth and short coat, however, breeding efforts have also produced animals with long or in strong swirling fur growing.
- Guinea pigs are diurnal animals that feed exclusively on plants. Their food sources include fruits, seeds and nuts as well as grass, foliage and other plant parts. A high content of vitamin C in their diet is essential because they can not produce this nutrient themselves.
- Guinea pigs live in the wild preferably in groups of up to fifteen animals and search in caves and holes for burrows, which they dig themselves. Often they also take over buildings that have been abandoned by other mammals.
- They communicate with each other with different Quiek and whistles and recognize each other by the smell.
- Guinea pigs have an average life expectancy of five to seven years in the wild. As pets, they can even be up to ten years old if they are looked after and looked after properly.
- Domestic guinea pigs are frugal animals, which in addition to vitamin-rich vegetable food and enough spill hardly make any claims to the attitude. Therefore, they are especially popular with smaller children.
- Since they reproduce in the seasons regardless of the wild forms and are born per litter up to six pups, in normal pet ownership should be paid attention to gender segregation.