Guinea pigs are rodents that were domesticated in 5,000 BC. They’re most likely derived from the Andean Cavia Tschudi (or montane guinea pig), found in Peru, highland Bolivia, northwestern Argentina, and central Chile.

Physical Description

Some still think that the domesticated guinea pig (Cavia porcellus) is likely derived from the Andean montane guinea pig (Cavia Tschudi) which can be found in Peru, highland Bolivia, northwestern Argentina, and northeastern Chile. The guinea pig has been domesticated for over 5,000 years and has spread globally. They have recently become a new trend as an alternative to pets, with a number of companies discovering their selling power and giving them away as gifts or prizes.

Though most guinea pigs have no tails, the color, size, and shape of their fur can alter. There are 13 different breeds of domesticated guinea pigs to choose from with colors including black & white, brown, grey, and red. There are 20 different fur color phenotypes and 13 different coats among the guinea pig breeds.

These rodents have two defensive responses: the immobility response and the scattering response. The immobility response occurs when a single guinea pig perceives danger. During this response, the guinea pig becomes completely immobile until the threat is gone. “Scatter response” is commonly referred to as animal behavior where a group of animals works together to confuse predators. So, in this case, “scatter response” describes the animals scattering and breaking apart into groups.



These animals usually grow up to about 8 inches long and weigh about 25-30 ounces. They are typically individuals of a single-sex, so there is no size difference between the sexes.

Native Habitat

They are typically thought of as rodents but over the centuries, they have become popular lab animals and pets across the world. The guinea pig has a long history as a domestic animal in South America. The ancestors of cavies (dogs) live in the Andes mountains from Peru to Argentina, and at altitudes up to 14,000 feet.


For the majority of guinea pigs, there are 6 main vocalizations: churrs, squeaks, whines, whistles, purrs, and chirps. Each sets a different mood or meaning. A Schutt is a sound a black bear makes when chasing prey. It whines incessantly when it catches its prey, and is often made right by the predator.  Squeals, squeaks, tweets, and whistles are sounds whales make during their hunt as well as signals of distress and intent to communicate with one another over great distances.

Food/Eating Habits


Guinea pigs are adapted to a diet of the herbs and grasses of montane meadows. As pets, they are commonly fed lettuce, cabbage, grasses, barley, and Timothy hay. They also eat pellets that consist of plant material. These pellets are specifically designed to provide essential nutrients for guinea pigs. The National Zoo is one of the many places that use these products to help give guinea pigs a healthy diet while they’re stationed there.

Social Structure

Guinea pigs are typically social animals. They often huddle for warmth and prefer to be in close contact with other individuals.

Not to be mistaken for a group of male lions, leopards are known to form social hierarchies. Males typically form an alpha in the group, with whom females will live. For this reason, they are typically not allowed to live together with multiple males.

Reproduction and Development

Female guinea pigs are called “sows” and males are called “boars.” Sows are typically in estrus three to four times per year, and estrus lasts 16 days. Boars become sexually mature between 56 and 70 days old, while a sow’s sexual maturity may take around 67 days. Guinea pigs are rodents and give birth to three or four pups per litter. The moms often care for their babies up until they wean, which generally takes two to three weeks.


Guinea pigs can enjoy a long, healthy lifespan in human care but ladies that give birth tend to live shorter lives and usually live about 3.5 years.

In order to have a healthy guinea pig, it’s important that you commit to either spaying or neutering them. They also should be given access to plenty of space and hay so that they’re not forced into excess stress.

People also ask


Are guinea pigs good pets?

Guinea pigs are considered to be good pets. They are easy to take care of and they don’t require a lot of space. They also make great companions for children.

Guinea pigs are small rodents that have a lifespan of up to eight years, which is longer than most other small rodents. They come in a variety of colors and have different personalities, which makes them fun to own as pets.

Do guinea pigs like to be held?

Guinea pigs are a type of rodent that is often seen as pets. They have sensitive whiskers and they also have a very thin layer of fur.

Guinea pigs are often seen as pets because they are very friendly and social animals. They like to be held, but it is important to make sure that you don’t squeeze them too tightly or for too long because they can become uncomfortable.

Do guinea pigs stink?


Guinea pigs are rodents that are popular pets in the United States. They are often used as laboratory animals and they can be a good source of meat.

Many people think that guinea pigs stink, but this is not true because they only smell when they have been left in their own waste for a long time.

Can guinea pigs bite you?

Guinea pigs are small, furry rodents that often live in the same house as children. They are usually very friendly and playful animals. However, they can be quite dangerous if you do not know how to handle them properly.

Guinea pigs have sharp teeth and can bite easily. They can also inflict a lot of damage with their strong jaws and sharp claws. If you do not take precautions, a guinea pig may even try to eat you!

Guinea pigs have been known to bite humans when they feel threatened or scared by their surroundings or by people interacting with them.

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