– There are three different types of guinea pigs: the American/English guinea pig which has short hair and a smooth coat. The Abyssinian guinea pig which has more wiry hair that forms swirls similar to rosettes, and the Peruvian guinea pig which has straight long silky hair.
– Guinea pigs as pets are relatively not demanding, small in size and peaceful in nature!
– Guinea pigs are not related to pigs and they do not come from Guinea! The Guinea in their name refers to the country of Guyana and because they have a “piggy like” appearance, they are named after pigs.
– The life span of a guinea pig is between 4-7 years,the better they are looked after the longer they will live!
– Guinea pigs are originally from the Andes. In the wild they live on grassy plains and semi-arid deserts, although they do not exist naturally in the wild anymore.
– A female guinea pig is called a “sow”, the males are referred to as “boars” and the babies are called “pups”.
– Their teeth continue growing throughout their lives which is why it’s important they gnaw on things to wear their teeth down.
– When guinea pigs are happy they jump straight up in the air, you’ll see young guinea pigs do this while they are playing. They also “purr” and stretch themselves out to show they are relaxed and happy!
– Guinea pigs cannot naturally produce Vitamin C which is why you need to supplement their diets with the vitamin.
– They have 4 toes on their front feet but only 3 on their back feet.
– Doctors in the Andes mountains in South America have been known to use guinea pigs to find illness in people. They hold the guinea pig up against the sick person and it will let out a squeak when they are close to where the illness is.
– Guinea pigs have a very good field of vision and are able to see around them to detect predators. However they can’t see anything straight in front of their noses!
– Guinea pigs don’t need to sleep for long periods of time, instead they prefer to take naps throughout the day. They tend to be most active during dusk and dawn, when it would be harder for predators to spot them.
– Cohousing of Guinea Pigs with other rodents (gerbils, hamsters etc.) is NOT a good idea. This may lead to respiratory and other infections, also rodents may act aggressively towards each other.
– The longest living Guinea Pig survived 14 years! According to the 2006 Guinness book of world records.
-The scientific name for a Guinea Pig is Cavia Porcellus (porcellus is Latin for “little pig”)