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cavy(kā`vē), name for 14 species of South American rodents of the family Caviidae, including the domestic guinea pigguinea pig
, domesticated form of the cavy, Cavia porcellus, a South American rodent. 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.
..... Click the link for more information. . The wild cavies are usually small, rounded, and tailless, with fur of a uniform shade of brown. Nocturnal animals, they occupy a variety of habitats, especially dense vegetation. An unusual, large species is the Patagonian cavy, or mara (Dolichotis patagonum), a long-legged, harelike animal that reaches a length of about 2 1-2 ft (76 cm) and lives in arid regions. The capybaracapybara
, mammal of Central and much of South America. It is the largest living member of the order Rodentia (the rodents) reaching a length of 4 ft (120 cm) and a weight of 75 to 100 lb (34–45 kg).
..... Click the link for more information. belongs to a related family. Some cavies are hunted for food in South America. Cavies are 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.
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Any of the rodents composing the family Caviidae, which includes the guinea pig, rock cavies, mountain cavies, capybara, salt desert cavy, and mara.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.