Its not a dog or a cat, a rat or a rabbit, but it is something that you can keep as a pet and cuddle and play with. They come in different sizes and can have short or long hair.
Have you ever heard about a guinea pig? Lets learn a bit more about this cute little animal.
The guinea pig or 'cavy' is a species of rodent in the family Caviidae and the genus Cavia.
These animals are not family of the pig, even if they are named that way and they also do not come from a place called Guinea. Their forefathers come from the mountains in the Andes, but these animals do not live in the wild or will do well there, they are domesticated and are kept as pets. Like all other animals, you have to be kind to them and look after them and make sure they are fed, have water and gets attention.
They are still very popular as pets today due to their quiet nature, their openness to humans through handling and feeding, and the relative ease of caring for them
The people in South America use these animals as a food source or for medicinal use.
Guinea pigs communicate with sounds and when they are held or are happy, they will make a sound like a cat purring and when they get excited when they see their owner, wants attention or food, they with give a high pitched 'scream'.
- Listen to the different sound they can make.
They eat grass and seeds and also fruits and vegetables. They will live between 3 and 4 years, but some can even live up to 8 years.
There are different breeds of guinea pigs and some have short hair and others long hair. Have a look here at the different types.
If something or someone is being experimented on, we say "They are guinea pigs". These animals use to be experimented upon a lot but have been replaced by mice or rats, but the expression stuck.
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