guinea pig


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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.
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, 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.
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. 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.
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, 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 ?
the farm's guinea pigs are deprived of space and shelter ANIMAL HOUSE.
A GANG of cruel youths kicked a pregnant guinea pig around in a cardboard box before leaving it for dead.
We found that DPOAEs could still be detected in the presence of perforations as large as 25% of the pars tensa at the specified frequencies in the guinea pig, unless they were accompanied by additional trauma in the form of perilymph fistula or ossicular discontinuity; in that case, DPOAEs were not detectable.
Based on the mouse and guinea pig experience, a three-drug combination was used in initial nonhuman primate studies and also was successful.
ON, said: "I was just bored one day so I made a film about my guinea pigs.
e 23 goal-hungry guinea pigs - a referee in black and 22 players in tiny England and Italy shirts - fought it out on the specially-adapted pitch for 90 seconds, chasing a ball stued with tasty grass.
Layla Smith, who runs the facility, said: "I am getting calls daily from people who are unable to keep their guinea pigs but I am having to turn people away now.
The animal is a cuddly companion for millions of children, but in Peru guinea pigs are sacrificed to gods, used in Andean folk medicine and eaten.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Fabricant said: 'One of my constituents runs a guinea pig farm for medical research which is controlled by the Home Office to protect the animals and to ensure the guinea pigs are bred and kept humanely.
Two-year-old Flash has won the world record for the fastest run by a guinea pig by conquering the 10metre red carpet track in 8.
A boxer dog, two guinea pigs and lots of tropical fish.