Guinea pigs (also called cavies) are rodents belonging to the family Cavidae and the genus Cavia. Though guinea pigs are currently classified in order Rodentia, there is some scientific dispute over whether or not they are actually rodents, as recent evidence from mitochondrial DNA indicates that Caviidae may belong to a different evolutionary offshoot, and therefore a different order. Despite their common name, the animals are not pigs, nor do they come from Guinea. Although there are more than 20 different species, the one most familiar to people is C. porcellus, the common guinea pig. The majority of information in this article is about the common guinea pig. They are considered by many to be very cute and are very verbal (they squeak) in contact with humans.










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The scientific name of a common species is Cavia porcellus, with porcellus being Latin for "little pig." The origin of "guinea" in the title guinea pig is even harder to explain. One theory is that the animals were brought to Europe by way of Guinea and people came to think they had come from there. Another theory is they were sold as the closest thing to a pig you could get for a guinea, an old British coin with a value of 21 shillings (1.05 GBP in the modern decimal currency). Since the Dutch name refers to Guinea rather than to the British coin and the fact that the first guinea pig was described in 1554 by the Swiss naturalist Konrad Gesner (more than a hundred years before the first guinea was struck), the former theory is more likely.

Above Images Are From The National Cancer Institute















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