ORIGIN: The Guinea Pig originated as a rodent in South America, but is now bred as a common house pet in the United States. Guinea Pigs are related to porcupines.
BREED: Kingdom-Animal, Phylum-Chordata, Subphylum-Craniata, Class-Mammalia, Subclass-Theira, Infraclass-Eutheria, Order-Rodentia, Suborder-Hystricomorpha, Family-Caviidae, Genus-Cavia, species-porcellus.
Niles, the Guinea Pig pictured here, is an albino, indicated by his white hair and red eyes. Niles' breed is Abbyssinian, which have short hair with whorls in the coat called rosettes.
MODEL ANIMAL: Guinea Pigs make good model animals because they are docile, small, diploid, easy to handle, have predicatable behavior, and have short reproduction (about 63 days).
LIFE SPAN: Guinea Pigs have a greater surface area to volume ratio. This makes their metabolism work hard in order to keep their body warm. This makes them have a relatively short life span, about 3-5 years.
|BEHAVIOR: Guinea Pigs are not aggressive, they prefer to flee danger. They are easily exicited and are panicked by loud noises and vibrations. When contented, they will vocalize with purrs, squeaks, chirps, and whistles. Being an albino, Niles will hide for shade, to avoid overheating, but also for protection from danger. Guinea Pigs in the wild are observed to self-groom as earily as birth, but contribute to very little mutual grooming. They are found to be most active in the mornings and evenings. They do not store food, nor do they defend their young. Guinea Pigs will use burrows of other animals, but do not dig their own. Guinea Pigs can have chronic respiratory conditions and rashes if placed in cedar bedding. Guinea Pig owners should know to house them in pine shavings.|
|FEEDING AND DRINKING: Guinea Pigs are herbivores. They love fruits and vegetables. Some of their favorite foods include romaine lettuce, oranges, apples, bananas, carrots, cucumber, grass, kale, kiwi, and rasberries. Guinea Pigs do not synthesize vitamin C on their own, so it must be provided daily. When drinking from a bottle, Niles knaws at the ball-bearing to get a drink. If drinking from a water dish, he would tilt his head back after each sip.|