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Guinea Pig
Guinea Pig
Mammal. Thousands of years ago, guinea pigs were domesticated, forever changing how and where they live. They have four toes on each forefoot but only three on each rear foot. These rodents are very vocal and social, preferring to live in groups of 5 to 10. They squeak, chirp, chatter, and use body language to “talk” to each other. Good senses of smell and hearing make up for their poor eyesight. Their two pairs of front incisor teeth are separated by a large gap from their grinding teeth or molars. Like humans they cannot synthesize vitamin C and must get a lot in their diet to avoid scurvy.
Scientific Name Lifespan
Cavia porcellus Average is 3 years
Herbivore. Having been domesticated, they rely mostly on humans for food including carrot tops, lettuce, fruit, or commercial food pellets.
Predators and Threats
Feral (wild) guinea pigs have many predators including cats, coyotes, wolves, snakes, hawks, owls, and humans.
Because most guinea pigs are domesticated, they are kept by humans in cages, aquariums, or special huts. Sometimes they are allowed to scavenge and run free. They are originally from South America.