The Guinea pig is a species of rodent, and despite their name they are not really pigs.
Guinea pigs originated in the Andes, and studies suggest they were domesticated descendants of a closely related species of Cavy such as Cavia Aperea, C. Fulgida, or C. tschudii and therefore did not ever exist naturally in the wild.
The Guinea pig plays a important role in folk culture of South American groups, as a food source, for folk medicine and also for use in community religious ceremonies.
Guinea pigs have been used as biological experiments since the 17th century. The animals were frequently used as a model organism in the 19th and 20th centuries as test subjects.
The metaphor “guinea pig” is used commonly today to show a metaphor for the first one to try something. Today guinea pigs have been replaced by other rodents such as mice and rats to preform tests on.
In Western Societies the Guinea pig has enjoyed widespread popularity as a household pet since its introduction by European traders dating back to the 16th century.
Guinea pigs make up many good features of a pet such as their docile nature, responsiveness to handling and feeding, and the relative ease of caring for them.
This is why the Guinea pig is still a very popular pet choice, and there are many organizations out there devoted to competitive breeding of Guinea pigs, with varying coat colors and compositions, are carried out by breeders.
Since domestication there are many different types of Guinea pig breeds.
Species: C. porcellus
Different Types of Guinea Pig Breeds
Though there are many different breeds of Guinea pigs, there are only a few breeds that are commonly used as for pets. Guinea pigs that a breeded as pets are found desirable and to be good companions.
1. Short Haired Guinea Pig
The short haired Guinea Pig is often called the American or English guinea pig. They has consistently short, glossy hair without a part. This type of guinea pig most resembles its relatives an ancestors from the Cavia Genus.
2. Abyssinian Guinea Pig
The Abyssinian breed of Guinea pig is know for its short, rough coat that has cowlicks of hair. The name Abyssinian comes from the origin of its geographical region of Abyssinia which is present day Ethiopia.
The average Abyssinian has 10 rosettes, 1 on each shoulder, 4 across , on on each of the hips, and two on the rear.
3. Peruvian Guinea Pig
The Peruvian is all of modern long hair breeds. It is a Guinea pig with hair that grows all over its body, sometimes to an excess of 20 inches.
Because of the long hair it can make caring for this breed a little more difficult then other Guinea pig breeds.
They have both a top and an undercoat of hair, and as most Peruvian Guinea pigs are keep as pets they are regularly trimmed for ease of keeping in show coat form.
The coat should be keep with an even length all over, with a central part along the spine.
4. Silkie or Sheltie
A silkie has long hair that flows back over its body, and never goes forward over the face like the Peruvian. When looking at it from above it forms a teardrop shape and should never have a central part.
The Sheltie is generally accepted to have a longer sweep of hair in the rear , in contrast to the Peruvian where the coat is desired to fall in an even coat around the body.
5. Rex Guinea Pig
A Rex Guinea pig has short, fuzzy hair that stands up all over the body. The hair is uniform all over, without any markings and the hair has a length of no more than half an inch in length.
The Rex breed can sometimes look similar to the Teddy, but the two types are genetically different.
6. Teddy Guinea Pig
A Teddy has a very thick dense and fuzzy coat, with hairs that stand up all over. There fur typically grows to a moderate length and generally makes this breed resemble a soft teddy bear.
The Teddy has long hair that covers their bellies, in contract to other breeds whose bellies are almost bare. There are two different kinds of Teddies; The US Teddy and the CH Teddy (Swiss Teddy).
7. Texel Guinea Pig
A Texel Guinea pig is like a Silkie but with curls in the hair. The Texel originated in England and was officially recognized as a breed by the ACBA in 1998.
The curls ideally are tight wound workscrew curls that cover the entire body, including the stomach. The curls are very good looking, but must be taken care of by brushing the curls lightly to keep it groomed.
Rare and Emerging Breeds
8. Alpaca Guinea Pig
11. English Merino
12. Hairless Breeds Guinea Pig
13. Ridgeback Guinea Pig
14. Abyruvian Guinea Pig
Guinea pigs carry many colors but the only three different colors can appear on each guinea pig. The three colors include a black series, a red series, and a white series.
The Black series includes black, chocolate, lilac, and beige, the red series includes red, orange, buff, cream, and white.