Guinea pigs are full of personality and aren’t boring like most people think they are.
They’re very social animals and are always on the move. Recently guinea pigs have been getting more and more attention in the pet world. With the attention they’ve been getting, more people are turning to the internet to figure out more about these animals. In this post, I’ll list some interesting facts about guinea pigs that will hopefully show you how amazing they are!
- Guinea pigs are distantly related to capybaras.
- The earliest known portrait featuring a guinea pig is from 1580. Guinea pigs were introduced in Europe in the 1500s and are in many art pieces from that time. Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603) owned a pet guinea pig.
- There’s a breed of guinea pig called a skinny pig. Scientists bred skinny pigs by accident while studying dermatology in 1978.
- Although guinea is in their name, they don’t come from Guinea. Their origin is unknown to this day. It’s thought that guinea pigs started to become domesticated in South America around 5000 BCE. You can still spot their wild counterparts in the Andes mountain ranges in South America.
- Each guinea pig year equates to around 18 human years! According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the oldest living guinea pig was 14 years, ten months, and two weeks old. Other guinea pigs have lived just as long, or even longer, that isn’t in the record book. Sweetie, the guinea pig, lived until he was 16! 4-8 years is the average life span for guinea pigs.
- A guinea pig’s angle of vision is about 340 degrees! They have poor depth perception, and many believe guinea pigs are color-blind. They can see colors, but they aren’t as vibrant as how we see them.
- Guinea pigs only sleep 4-6 hours a day. When they do sleep, it isn’t altogether, and they only sleep for around 10 minutes at a time.
- Guinea pigs make a variety of sounds to communicate.
- Some European countries like Switzerland and Sweden have laws against owning only one guinea pig. They’re very social animals and, if alone, can die from depression and loneliness.
- Guinea pigs are very smart and can remember patterns if associated with food. They can learn to recognize the sounds associated with food and even your footsteps!
- When they’re born, they already have all their teeth and fur and even begin walking after a few hours.
- Guinea pigs can’t sweat as we do.
- Their teeth and nails never stop growing, so they constantly chew on things and require nail trimmings every few weeks.
- Guinea pigs aren’t related to pigs even though they have similarly shaped bodies and characteristics.
- When they get excited, they get the zoomies and will popcorn around, which is a cute and funny thing to see!
There are still some wonders about guinea pigs, like where they come from and why they’re called guinea pigs, but they are funny little animals full of life. Owning guinea pigs is a treasure and will fill your life with endless joy!
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