The guinea pig, also called the cavy, is a species of rodent belonging to the family Caviidae. Despite their common name, these animals are not in the pig family, nor are they from Guinea.
They originated in the Andes, and earlier studies based on biochemistry and hybridization suggested they are domesticated descendants of a closely related species of cavy such as Cavia aperea and therefore, do not exist naturally in the wild. The guinea pig plays an important role in the folk culture of many indigenous South American groups, especially as a food source, but also in folk medicine and in community religious ceremonies.
DID YOU KNOW? The name for a male Guinea pig is a ‘boar’, the name for a female Guinea pig is a ‘sow'?