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.

Continue Reading
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.

Learn more about Pets

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How do you care for guinea pigs?

    A:

    Guinea pigs require a cage, bedding, food and water for basic care. The animals should also have plenty of exercise and regular health care checkups from a veterinarian.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Where are guinea pigs usually for sale?

    A:

    Guinea pigs are usually for sale at any pet retailer that handles live animals, including PetSmart, Petco and many locally-owned pet stores. Prospective pet owners may also find private parties in their area with guinea pigs for sale by browsing classified listings, such as Craigslist and Pet-Classifieds.com.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Can guinea pigs eat grass?

    A:

    Guinea pigs can, and should, eat fresh grass daily. Guinea pigs graze, nibbling grass and plants both day and night, which keeps them full and helps keep their teeth from becoming too long.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What kind of lettuce do guinea pigs eat?

    A:

    Guinea pigs eat most dark leafy lettuces, including romaine, green leaf, red leaf and butterhead lettuce. They also eat non-lettuce greens, such as mustard, spinach, chard, arugula, kale, beet tops, radicchio, cilantro and parsley.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore