:: Look at Where I Live!

Guinea pig sitting in the grass, found in the free domainThe species Cavia porcellus are not found in a natural habitat.  Species such as Cavia aperea, Cavia fulgidia, and Cavia tschudii, which are closely related to the guinea pig, can be located in parts of South America.  In a similar ecological niche as a cow  would nurture, the wild guinea pigs survive on the grassy plains.  The male (boar), several females (sows), and their young, gather together and live in small groups.  Being crepuscular, most active during twilight, the guinea pigs move about the plains while consuming the abundant vegetation.  During this time, it is more difficult for the guinea pigs to become quarry for snakes, foxes and other predators.

Two guinea pigs enjoying the outdoors, found in the free domainThe guinea pigs domestic habitat is best when they are in groups of two or more.  Guinea pigs bond extremely well with each other, and thrive when living with one another.  These animals usually live in cages but when an owner has an abundant amount of these creatures, a whole room is used for their comfort. The cages are normally made of wire with a solid floor covered in wood shavings to absorb urine.  A nestbox is usually put into the guinea pigs cage because these creatures are very shy.  In the wild, they keep a low profile by retreating behind rocks, in bushes or under leaves when resting or sleeping.  If this need to retreat is not met, it will greatly increase their stress level, making them more susceptible to illness. 

Guinea pigs were first found in South America around 5000 B.C. where the Incas raised them for food and for sacrificial offerings.  These creatures were then introduced to Europe by the Spanish during the 1500’s after the Incas had been conquered.  They were such a hit in Europe, even Queen Elizabeth I had a guinea pig as a pet!

If you found the guinea pigs habitat fascinating check out its nutrition as well as its life history!