pig family.gif (3941 bytes)Interesting Facts About Guinea Pigs*

Guinea pigs don't have visible tails. We went to a library's book sale where they sell old books and bought an old dictionary. We looked up guinea pigs and it said they have tails! You can't believe all that you read!  They do, however, have a tail vertebrae, but to look at them and hold them, they don't have a tail.

Guinea pigs are born with fur and with their eyes open. They are not like rabbits or mice that are born hairless and helpless. They are so small they can fit in the palm of your hand. Their feet look too big for their bodies! They nurse right away on their mommy, and even nibble a little on her food a day or so later. They grow up fast!

Guinea pigs eat a lot of food, at least Hunny did! No wonder they are called pigs! Guinea pigs are not related to pigs at all, though. They are really named cavies and they are members of the rodent family, which means they like to gnaw. Don't put your guinea pig near any books or she'll take a bite!

Guinea pigs came from South America, and the Incas domesticated them. They are members of the cavy family. Some think they are called guinea pigs because in England they were sold for a guinea, which is a coin. Some think it is because they were brought to Europe by Spanish sailors from a country called Dutch Guiana in South America.

Guinea pigs need to gnaw to wear down their teeth. Otherwise, their teeth will grow too long and then they won't be able to eat. That is a terrible thing for a pig.

"Cavy" is the official word for guinea pig!

*Some of these facts we got out of books like I Love Guinea Pigs by Dick King-Smith, and Guinea Pigs A Complete Pet Owner's Manual by Horst Bielfeld. But some of the facts we just observed by ourselves!