The guinea pig looks like a small, well-fed animal. The size of the guinea pig depends on the breed. Therefore, the body length of the rodent varies from 25 to 35 cm. The weight of an adult guinea pig ranges on average from 800 grams to 1.5 kilograms. Males are larger than females. The guinea pig has a wide snout, round dark eyes, and a moist nose. Since the body of the animal is rounded and has no tail, the guinea pig looks very funny. The guinea pig looks like a true rodent as it has self-sharpening incisors. There are claws on the front and back paws of the animal. The guinea pig's natural color has a brownish-grayish hue and a lighter abdomen. There are now many different breeds of guinea pig. They all have different colors, lengths, and coat structures. Therefore, each guinea pig looks different. In pet guinea pigs, the color can be red, white, black, brown and have different combinations and shades of all these colors. Pet guinea pig breeds come in short-haired, long-haired, and coarse-haired. There are even breeds of guinea pigs without hair.
In the wild, guinea pigs live in packs. These animals are nocturnal, and during the day they hide in the shelter of rocks or sleep in burrows. Guinea pigs can breed all year round. Female guinea pigs are already capable of breeding at the age of 1 month. For males, this period comes a little later - at the age of 2-3 months. Pregnancy in guinea pigs lasts 2 months. The male does not take part in rearing the cubs. Usually 3-5 guinea pig pups are born, they are covered with a thin layer of fur and open their eyes immediately after birth.
After 4 weeks, the guinea pig pups are able to leave the nest to live on their own. Guinea pigs were domesticated a long time ago. Tribes in South America (territory of Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Southern Colombia) used guinea pigs for food and raised them for ornamental purposes. Breeding efforts then led to the development of various guinea-pig breeds, some of which are now the foundation of the modern family guinea pig. Traffickers from Spain and England took the little animals to Europe, where they became popular as pets among the nobility. It is still not entirely clear why guinea pigs are so called. It is possible that the structure of the body of guinea pigs resembles pigs. And the sounds they make and the fact that the animals are constantly eating only adds to the similarity. But the guinea pig is named apparently because it was brought "from overseas" and was considered "overseas. Nowadays, in almost all of South America, guinea pigs are still consumed as food. Their meat is considered dietary and is close in taste and nutritional value to that of rabbit and chicken.