guinea pig

(redirected from Guineapig)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical.

guinea pig

(gĭn`ē), domesticated form of the cavycavy
, name for 14 species of South American rodents of the family Caviidae, including the domestic guinea pig. The wild cavies are usually small, rounded, and tailless, with fur of a uniform shade of brown.
..... Click the link for more information.
, Cavia porcellus, a South American rodentrodent,
member of the mammalian order Rodentia, characterized by front teeth adapted for gnawing and cheek teeth adapted for chewing. The Rodentia is by far the largest mammalian order; nearly half of all mammal species are rodents.
..... Click the link for more information.
. It is unrelated to the pig; the name may refer to its shrill squeal. Guinea pigs were raised by the Incas and have long been used as food in South America. They were first imported into Europe from Guiana in the 16th cent. There are a number of varieties, some with short, smooth hair and others with longer hair, and a great range of color combinations, including mixtures of black and white and many shades of brown. They have rounded bodies, large heads, and blunt noses and reach a length of 6 to 10 in. (15–25 cm) and a weight of 1 to 2 lb (450–900 grams). Females produce three to five litters, usually of three or four young, per year. The guinea pig's rapid reproductive rate and high resistance to disease make it a valuable laboratory animal; it is used for testing serums and antitoxins and for experiments in genetics and nutrition. It is also sometimes kept as a pet. It is classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
..... Click the link for more information.
, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Rodentia, family Caviidae.

Guinea Pig

 

(Cavia porcellus), a mammal of the order Rodentia. The body length measures up to 35 cm; there is no external tail. The hind feet have three digits, and the forefeet have four. The color is brownish gray on top. The guinea pig inhabits open spaces in the foothill regions of Peru. A crepuscular animal, it lives in small groups in burrows that it either has dug itself or has taken over. It bears one to four young twice a year.

The guinea pig, or a closely related species, was domesticated by the Incas as a source of food and was imported to Europe in the 16th century. It is now widely used as a laboratory animal for medical purposes and physiological experiments. A number of breeds differing in the color and nature of the fur have been developed. In captivity, the guinea pig reproduces year-round, with each litter containing six offspring. The animal does not tolerate sharp fluctuations in temperature well.

guinea pig

[′gin·ē ‚pig]
(vertebrate zoology)
The common name for several species of wild and domestic hystricomorph rodents in the genus Cavia, family Caviidae; individuals are stocky, short-eared, short-legged, and nearly tailless.

guinea pig

a domesticated cavy, probably descended from Cavia porcellus, commonly kept as a pet and used in scientific experiments
References in periodicals archive ?
Dietary vitamin C decreases endogenous protein oxidative damage, malondialdehyde and lipid peroxidation and maintains fatty acid unsaturation in the guineapig liver.
Effects of inhibition of calcium and potassium currents in guineapig cardiac contraction: comparison of [beta]-caryophyllene oxide, eugenol, and nifedipine.
The Grocer 33's online Easter shopping survey showed its web site customers may not be enjoying such good fortunes with our guineapig Sainsbury's to You shopper finding that six of the products she ordered had been substituted to replace items that were out of stock.
As when Phillip Schofield (ITV game show host, Peruvian guineapig eater, theatre musical star and doler-out of tissues to those who weep on his banal morning chat show) revealed delusions of political acumen and attempted to hard-hit Cameron over paedophile suspects.
This is a guy who, at 35, still trains for four hours a day, who counts every made shot in practice, who routinely uses bench players as guineapigs on which to practise his newest shots.
taeda), organic compost (elaborated with wood shavings taken from the raising bays of experimental guineapigs and rats, cut grasses and vegetable wastes, approximately 2:2:1, made on the decomposition patio of the Federal University of Santa Catarina--UFSC), sphagnum (dried plants of the genus Sphagnum extracted from the swamps of Joinville, Santa Catarina State), shredded xaxim (dilacerated pseudotrunks of Dicksonia sellowiana Hook.