Q:

Where do guinea pigs come from?

A:

Quick Answer

Guinea pigs, or cavies, originated in the northern and western parts of South America. They were originally domesticated about 5,000 B.C.E. and are now found worldwide as pets, laboratory animals and as a source of meat.

Know More
Where do guinea pigs come from?
Credit: Toshihiro Gamo Flickr CC-BY-2.0

Full Answer

Guinea pigs are no longer found in the wild; some biologists believe that the domesticated variety never existed in the wild and is the result of hybridization between closely related cavy species. They are highly adaptable and can tolerate a broad range of altitudes and a wide range of temperatures. Guinea pigs have been a traditional food source for natives of the Andes Mountains; they have also used guinea pigs in folk medicine and in social and religious ceremonies.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    What are some facts about guinea pigs?

    A:

    The guinea pig was domesticated from now-extinct wild species once native to South America. A wild guinea pig called the Brazilian guinea pig is still found on the continent; like the domestic guinea pig, it has a blunt snout, a chunky body, no tail and short legs. The guinea pig has proven so popular as a pet, a test animal and food, it is now found all over the world.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why do guinea pigs squeak?

    A:

    Guinea pigs are relatively vocal animals and use squeaking as a way to communicate emotions such as fear and happiness, according to About.com. Not only do guinea pigs squeak to communicate with other guinea pigs, but also as a way to communicate with humans.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Can guinea pigs eat tomatoes?

    A:

    Red ripe tomatoes are considered a safe food for guinea pigs, but only the ripe fruit should be fed to guinea pigs. Green tomatoes, tomato leaves and stems contain toxic compounds that can make guinea pigs ill.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Do guinea pigs sleep with their eyes open?

    A:

    Guinea pigs usually sleep with their eyes open. The animals very rarely close their eyes, even when asleep. They rest their heads on the ground to sleep and sometimes sprawl with their legs outstretched.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore