Guinea Pig Facts

Wild Locality

This species has been domesticated since ~ 5000 BC but was originally derived from the wild Cavy (AKA Cuy) in South America


Terrestrial (ground-dwelling)


Vegetation (herbivore)


(Wild Cavy) Forested Regions, Grassy Plains

Adult Size

~ 700-1,200g


Crepuscular (most active at dawn & dusk)

Conservation Status

(Wild Cavy) The specific species of Cavy that the Domestic Guinea Pig is derived from is now extinct in the wild

Life Expectancy

~ 6-10 years in the care of humans (less for the Cavy in the wild)


Guinea Pigs are South American rodents, so they are neither from Guinea, nor are they Pigs! Their name likely comes from their squealing vocalizations, & also from the common price of one guinea, which was the amount these animals were often sold for. Guinea Pigs (known as Cuy to the Incas in South America) were originally domesticated for food purposes, & later became very popular pets, especially to European people after they were imported over from the New World. Guinea Pigs are very social, & live in small herds, usually consisting of one male (boar) & several females (sows.)


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