Here are some interesting facts about guinea pigs...
1. The Oldest Guinea Pig
The oldest guinea pig that we know of was a boy named Snowball and he lived for an amazing 14 years and 10 months! He died in February 1979. Guinea pigs sadly don't have a very long life span. They usually live for between 4-8 years.
2. Where Do Guinea Pigs Originally Come From?
Guinea pigs don’t originate from Guinea but from the Andes Mountains in South America. They are also not members of the pig family but are rodents.
3. Constantly Growing Teeth
Unlike humans, guinea pigs teeth keep growing so they need to gnaw to prevent them from becoming too long.
4. Males, Females and Babies
Male guinea pigs are called boars, female guinea pigs are sows but baby guinea pigs are not called piglets, they are called pups!
5. Guinea Pig Poos!
Guinea pigs excrete 2 kinds of poos - soft poos and hard poos. They eat the soft poos straight from their bottoms as these have essential nutrients!
Male and female guinea pigs do what is called “rumblestrutting”. This is quite comical to watch and the piggy will sway their hips from side to side while making a loud purring type of noise. They do this to establish dominance or to woo other piggies.
7. Training Guinea Pigs
You can train guinea pigs to know when to expect food. They will get used to the rustling of the lettuce packaging or the chopping of vegetables and will often react to this. If you whistle each time you bring them food, they will squeak excitedly each time they hear whistling!
8. Born Fully Formed
Unlike other rodents, baby guinea pigs are born with teeth, fur/hair and their eyes open. They will be able to run around within hours!
9. Females Spray Too!
If a female guinea pig is a little irritated with another, they may “spray” them! Male piggies also spray but this is usually to mark their territory.
10. Guinea Pigs Have Had Royal Owners
Guinea pigs have been kept as pets for a long time. Queen Elizabeth 1 and Princess Diana both had pet guinea pigs!