Guinea pig Facts

Guinea pig Facts
Guinea pig, also known as cavy, is domesticated species of rodent that belongs to the cavy family. It originates from Andes in South America. Guinea pig has been domesticated 5000 years ago by various South American tribes which had used it as a source of food, in medical purposes, as a gift for other tribes and for the various religious and ceremonial rituals. Guinea pig was brought to Europe by Spanish sailors in the 15th century. It instantly became popular as a house pets because of its docile nature and responsiveness for feeding. Aside as a pet, guinea pig was often used as model organism during the 19th century for studying nutrition, genetic and diseases such as tuberculosis, scurvy and diabetes. Guinea pig is mostly kept as a house pet today. It is numerous and widespread around the world, but it cannot be found in the wild anymore.
Interesting Guinea pig Facts:
Guinea pig can reach 8 to 10 inches in length and 1.5 to 2.5 pounds of weight.
Guinea pig can have short or long coat that can be silky or ruffle, plain or multicolored (in various shades of white, creamy, grey, brown and black colors).
Guinea pig has large head with small, petal-shaped ears and compact, cylindrical body.
Guinea pig has small triangular mouth with 20 teeth. Front teeth grow constantly throughout the life.
Guinea pig has very good field vision, but it cannot see straight in front of the nose thanks to the specific position of the eyes (on the lateral sides of the head).
Guinea pig has tactile hairs around eyes, mouth and nose which are used to facilitate detection of food and navigation in the dark.
Guinea pig is active at dusk and dawn (crepuscular animal). It is not suitable for areas with extremely high and low temperatures.
Guinea pig is vegetarian. Its diet is based on grass and different types of vegetables. Guinea pig likes to eat lettuce, mustard greens, carrots, bananas, apples and various berries.
Guinea pig is social animal that lives in the herds in the wild. Domesticated guinea pig also enjoys the company of other guinea pigs as well as humans.
Guinea pig squeaks to get attention and purrs when it is happy.
Guinea pigs can mate all year long (mating season reaches the peak during the spring).
Pregnancy lasts 59 to 72 days and ends with 3 to 4 pups (up to 13 in the rare occasions).
Pups are born with open eyes and covered with fur. They can eat solid food from the moment of birth and run 3 hours later. Pups depend on the mother's milk until the age of 3 weeks.
Guinea pigs reach sexual maturity at the age of 3 to 5 weeks.
Guinea pig has an average lifespan of 4 to 5 years (it can survive up to 8 years).

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