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Interesting Guinea Pig Facts

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Guinea pigs are funny little creatures and they are very affectionate once they get to know and trust their owners.

They make for a popular pet as who can resist how cute these little critters are! But do you know all there is to know about your guinea pig?

Below are a few fun and interesting facts about guinea pigs you may not already know:






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Did you know?

  • The other name for a guinea pig is “cavy” which is the short version of their official name – Cavia Porcellus.
  • Guinea pigs are tailless rodents with stout bodies and are kept as pets by many people all over the country.
  • 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. It also refers to their stout bodies which give them a “piggy like” appearance.
  • They originally come from the Andes.
  • They are very active during the day and less so at night.
  • Guinea pigs love to spend their time grooming each other and themselves, making them very clean animals to keep as pets.
  • The life span of a guinea pig is between 5 – 8 years. The better a guinea pig is looked after, the longer they will live!
  • When it comes to diet, they are herbivores and they mainly live on grass and hay.
  • They make lots of different noises when they want to express themselves. This includes squealing, chirping, rumbling, purring and chirping.
  • A female guinea pig is called a "sow" and the males are referred to as "boars".
  • Baby guinea pigs are called "pups".
  • "Pups" are born with fur and their eyes open.
  • Their teeth continue growing throughout their lives which are why it's important for them to constantly gnaw, so that they wear their teeth down.
  • Guinea pigs are incredibly sensitive to loud noises.
  • A guinea pig that stretches out, it shows they are relaxed and happy.
  • When they are happy, guinea pigs jump straight up and down in the air which is referred to as "popcorning" - you'll often see youngsters do this when they are playing.
  • Guinea pigs cannot naturally produce Vitamin C in their bodies, so you need to supplement their diets with this vitamin.
  • The oldest recorded guinea pig lived to the ripe old age of 15 - which earned a place in the Guinness Book of Records.
  • They have 4 toes on their front feet but only 3 on their back ones.
  • All guinea pigs have 5 different sorts of hair that make up their coat.
  • Baby guinea pigs (pups) are able to run when they are only a few hours old.
  • Guinea pigs have 20 teeth, 4 incisors and the rest inside their mouth.
  • Guinea pigs are active for about 20 hours of the day and rest for short times only.
  • They are poor climbers but they can run very quickly.
  • Their vision isn't too good, but they can see almost all around them with the way their eyes are set (approx 340 degrees of vision).
  • Guinea pigs have good spatial memory and can remember learned pathways to food sources for many months.
  • The longest Guinea Pig jump was by "Truffles", who cleared a gap of 48cm in 2012!
  • They do have tail vertebrae, but no tail.
  • When you are holding a guinea pig, the way to settle it down if it’s wriggling too much is to bring your hand under its backside and it will stop wriggling.
  • The amount of time that a guinea pig is pregnant for is 70 days.
  • There are places in South America that eat guinea pigs for food.
  • Did you know that Guinea pigs don’t need to sleep for long periods? Instead, they prefer to take short naps throughout the day and night.
  • Guinea pigs can’t sweat like humans can and so can get heat stroke if they are left out in the sun or become too hot. They love to sit in the shade whenever possible.
  • Guinea pigs have a total of 258 bones in their body.

 

Did you know all these fun facts?

Please tell us which one was your favourite! Or let us know if you have some more fun facts.

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Toni_Benton_-_Somerzby_Pet_Enclosures.jpgToni Benton - Toni has a lot of experience with keeping pets and pet enclsoures, with her very cheeky British shorthair cat named Charlie and a rescue cat Rosie who is now nearly 17. Toni's pets also includes Dwarf Lop rabbits and Australorp cross Chickens.

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