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Some Guinea Pig facts.......


Guinea Pig life expectancy:    4 - 8 years.

Body temperature:    99ºF - 103ºF

Ideal environmental temperature:    68ºF - 72ºF
* Note: more tolerant to lower than higher temps.

Heart rate:     240 - 350 beat per minute.

Respiratory rate:    40 - 150 breaths per minute.    

Adult body weight:
    700g - 1200g.

Birth weight:    60g - 110g.

Adult body length:    10 inches - 14 inches.

Pregnancy gestational period:    59 - 72 days

Birth:    10 - 30 minutes, usually over night.

Litter size:    1 - 6, (1 - 3 for first litter).

Lactation period:    2 - 3 weeks. 

Weaning:    3 weeks, (pups must be at least 170g).

Teeth:    20 teeth, open rooted, continuous growth.

Food preferences:    strict herbivores (vegetarian)

Hearing abilities:    better than human (especially at higher frequencies), range of 125Hz - 33kHz (suspected to 50kHz).  
human range is 20Hz - 20kHz.

Visual perception:    color vision, 340 degree range of vision, but
poor depth perception.  33 images per second.
(humans see 22).

Smelling abilities:    highly developed, somewhere between that of a human and a canine.

Tasting abilities:    among the animals like rabbits with the greatest amount of taste buds; about 17000 (humans have about 9000, cats 473).

Muzzle sensors:    six rows of irregularly aligned vibrissa (whiskers) for navigation in the dark and width measuring.


Twenty million years ago,  during the mid Miocene Era, the 'Caviidae' family of rodents appeared in South American.  From this ancient species, the modern guinea pig evolved.

The Incas domesticated guinea pigs around 5000 B.C.E. They used them for food and religious ceremonies.  The Spanish in the sixteenth century conquered the Inca Empire in the mid-1500's.  Dutch merchants brought the cavies to Europe, where they became popular pets for aristocrats during the 1600's, in large part because Queen Elizabeth I of England kept one as a pet.  British immigrants brought specially bred guinea pigs to America, and the cavy fancy in the United states was set to flourish.

The scientific name for the domestic guinea pig is Caviidae porcellus.  They are related to the mouse, beaver, porcupine and capybara.

Sadly, 500,000 guinea pigs are specially bred and sold to laboratories where they are used in scientific research each year!

President Theodore Roosevelt had several pet guinea pigs.

In South America, where they are known as 'cuy', they are believed to have great powers of healing. In Indian cultures, it is thought that they have the power to appease the spirits.  It is also believed that the guinea pig can help people pass from one stage of life to another.  It plays a large part in the celebration of Patron Saints Day.

Guinea pigs have four toes on their front paws, but only three toes on their rear.

Guinea pigs are allergic to Penicillin antibiotics and they can not vomit.

Their eyes will not fall out if you hold them upside down - please take our word for it and not subject your pig to this.


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