The domestic Guinea Pig, also called a Cavy, originated in South America but no longer exists in the wild.
It has been domesticated for meat and as pets for thousands of years.
The domestic Guinea Pig is a type of Cavy, a South American rodent, and related to the wild Swamp Cavy and other
wild and feral guinea pig species. The Montane Guinea Pig, a wild Andean cavy, may have been an early ancestor
on DNA evidence. The name "Guinea" describes somewhere exotic (as in Guinea Fowl) and the name "Pig" from
their grunting (as in "hedgehog").
Varied colouring, often with a central "saddle", and different fur types have been bred in captivity.
A typical litter is 3-6 pups.
Guinea Pigs have been used in medical experiments for many years as they can replicate human diseases, leading to
the term "Guinea pig" as the object of an experiment.