Cavia is a genus in the Caviinae subfamily that contains the rodents commonly known as guinea pigs. The most well-known species in this genus is the domestic guinea pig, Cavia porcellus, an important meat animal in South America and a common household pet in the West.
are classified in order Rodentia, although there is a minority belief in the scientific community
that evidence from mitochondrial DNA
and proteins indicates that the Hystricognathi
may belong to a different evolutionary
offshoot and therefore a different order. If so, this would be an example of convergent evolution
. Other scientists are critical of this hypothesis.