What is a Guinea Pig ?

What are Guinea Pigs (Cavies) ?

What is a Guinea Pig
What is a Guinea Pig

There is currently a debate going on in scientific arenas as to what a Guinea Pig actually is.

Many a book starts off with the phrase “A Guinea Pig is a large rodent…” but this appears to be an issue up to debate.

Guinea Pigs have many characteristics in common with rabbits, which are not rodents, rather Lagomorphs.  At the time of writing this the Cavy is still listed as a rodent. However the protein in Cavy blood are different to those found in rodents. Could they be lagomorphs or are they a class of their own?

As it stands right now the Cavy’s Taxonomy looks something like this:

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Order: Rodentia

Suborder: Hystricomorpha

Family: Cavidae

Genus: Cavia

Species: Porcellus

Interestingly Caviomorpha also includes chinchillas, capybaras and porcupines, with theporcupine being the closest relative.


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