Guinea pig facts
Small Pets

Guinea pig facts

Guinea pig facts

Guinea pig facts # 1
Female guinea pigs are known as sows, while males are called boars. Inconsequently, young ones are not referred to as piglets but pups. 

Guinea pig fact # 2
Guinea pigs have poor eye sight, but fine hearing and well-developed senses of smell and touch. They communicate primarily by scent and sounds.

Guinea pig facts # 3
Some of the Cavia-species indentified during the 20th century, such as Cavia anolaimae and Cavia guianae, may hail from domesticated guinea pigs that have returned to the wild and become feral.

Guinea pig facts # 4
Today, Guinea pig clubs and associations can be found worldwide. Many of them arrange guinea pig shows where breeders meet and show their animals. Each national club has their own Standard of Perfection and determines which breeds are eligible for showing. Different breeds have different coat colours and coat types; some owning their appearance to the selective breeding carried out in the Andean region. In pet stores you are most likely to encounter English shorthair and the Abyssinian, while you may have to contact a breeder directly to obtain breeds such as Texel, Peruvian, or Silkie (also known as Sheltie). Breeders, clubs and organisations usually refer to guinea pigs as “cavies” (sing. “cavy”); a term derived from the scientific name of the species.

Guinea pig facts # 5
Guinea pigs are surprisingly good swimmers.

Guinea pig facts # 6
Guinea pigs have been used for scientific experimentation since the 1600s and to such an extent that the word guinea pig has come to mean “test subject” in English. Today, mice and rats are more common in laboratories, but guinea pigs are still used to investigate certain conditions, such as diabetes, scurvy, and pregnancy complications.   

Guinea pig facts # 7
During grooming sessions, a milky substance will be secreted from the eyes and rubbed into the fur of the guinea pig.

Guinea pig facts # 8
The guinea pig is an integral part of Andean cultures. They are used for social and religious ceremonies and traditional healers, curanderos, believe they can be used to diagnose certain diseases. Guinea pig statues made from ca. 500 BC to 500 AD have been found in archaeological digs in Peru and Ecuador, and the Moche people of Peru are especially famous for their guinea pig art. 

Guinea pig facts # 9
The earliest known European account of a guinea pig is from 1547 and describes an animal living in Santo Domingo on the island of Hispaniola. The guinea pig is believed to have been taken to Hispaniola by the Spaniards.

Guinea pig facts # 10
Despite its common and scientific name, the guinea pig is in no way whatsoever closely related to pigs.  


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