When we hear the name of Guinea pigs, the first thing that comes to our mind is the cute, adorable animals. These are puffy, funny creatures that are truly a treat to have as a pet. They will keep you interested and would be your perfect friend in this unsettling world. The scientific name of Guinea pig is Cavia Porcellus and are usually called Cavy. Know a little more about these cuddly and clever animals in the following interesting facts about Guinea pigs:
1. Guinea pigs are not real pigs
Well, don’t just go on the name. Guinea pigs are not really pigs, and they do not come from Guinea. They originally come from Andes Mountains of South America. They are tailless rodents with stout bodies.
2. Need doses of Vitamin C
Guinea pigs cannot make their own Vitamin C. Therefore; they need to get it supplemented into their diet.
3. Need to chew regularly
Guinea pigs have a small triangular mouth, which contains 20 teeth. Unlike other rodents, they keep on growing teeth continuously for which they need to chew or gnaw constantly from growing them too long.
4. Useful little animals
These are not just great pets, but in South America, these are quite useful especially as a food source. They are also used for customary medicines and in religious ceremonies.
5. Guinea pigs eat their own shit
So, they are not as adorable as we thought because these creatures eat their own droppings, usually directly from below which is called coprophagy. This is normal in some species of animals.
Source: guineapigmanual.com, image: girlalive.com
6. Born with preparation
Baby guinea pigs are born precocial, which means with all their hair, open eyes and fully functioning teeth. And within few hours of their birth, they start running and can eat solid food. Impressive!
Source: guineapigtoday.com, image: wikimedia.org
7. Love to socialize
Guinea pigs have the ability to build social relationships with humans and other animals.
8. Intelligent and attention seeker
Guinea pigs are quite an intelligent animal and love to seek its owner attention by making sounds and whistling.
9. Lots of bones in tiny animals
Looking at these tiny little creatures, we can only assume they have few little bones. But to our surprise, a guinea pig have a total of 258 bones in their body. But they are fragile little ones who have to be handled very carefully.
Source: onlineguineapigcare.com, image: flickr
10. Are not too much into sleeping
Guinea pigs don’t really like to sleep for long hours. Instead, they take short naps throughout the day and night.
11. Grooming is important to them
Guinea pigs believe in social grooming and for this they regularly self-groom themselves. Their eyes secrete a milky white substance which they rub into their hair for self- grooming.
Source: Wikipedia, image: wikimedia.org
12. Wide vision with 340 degree
Even though guinea pigs don’t have the best eyesight. They can have about 340-degree wide range of vision and can see partial colors which mean they are not color blind.
13. Happy purring means they love you back
Guinea pigs like to purr like a cat when they are happy especially when they are held and loved. They also whistle when they see their food. Now, this is adorable!
14. Assists Doctors to diagnose the right place of disease
Doctors in the Andes Mountains of South America use guinea pigs to find illness in people by putting them into the sick person. If they squeak close to a body part, doctors know where the disease is.
Source: onlineguineapigcare.com, image: songsofprasie.org
15. Weird toe numbers
Did you know that guinea pigs have 4 toes on their front feet but only 3 on their back ones?
Source: pets4homes.co.uk, image: Flickr
16. They can get nervous easily, so handle with care
These adorable animals are also known to be nervous creatures. They can get stressed easily, especially if they disliked being handled. We don’t want that.