It’s common for most animals to carry the names of animals they look like or are related to. But is this the same case with a guinea pig? Are guinea pigs really pigs?
No! Guinea pigs are not pigs in any way. They are equally not pigs that come from Guinea as you might have thought.
They are animals native to South America. In addition, a guinea pig sounds different, behaves differently, and doesn’t share the same family as a pig.
Cavies are also rodents, which consist of different kinds of small animals. And this excludes pigs.
Now you know briefly that a guinea pig is nothing like a pig. However, let’s look at some detailed reasons that’ll clearly show they’re both different.
Keep reading below.
Why Guinea Pigs Are Not Pigs – 3 Reasons
Guinea Pigs Don’t Belong to the Pig’s Family (Suidae)
|Species||C. porcellus||S. domesticus|
The Suiidae group is the family of all kinds of pigs—domestic pigs, wild pigs, and hogs. However, a guinea pig doesn’t belong to this family.
In addition, all pigs have common physical features. And one of them is their long, flexible snouts.
However, a guinea pig doesn’t have this Suidae feature. They belong to the Caviidae family instead.
Members of the Caviidae family include animals such as the rock cavies, Patagonian maras, and capybaras. These are also rodents like the little guinea pig.
Guinea Pigs are Strict Herbivores
That’s right! Cavies eat only plant foods. This makes them strict vegetarians compared to pigs that eat almost every food.
Furthermore, the digestive system of a guinea pig is designed for mainly plant food. It’s also very sensitive that any other kinds of food can be toxic for a guinea pig.
As herbivores, a guinea pig eats mainly hay. However, other plant foods like grass, fruits, veggies, and pellets are also part of their diet.
On the other hand, pigs are naturally omnivores and have a mixed diet.
So, not only do they eat plants, they eat meat and processed foods. Generally, these foods are unhealthy for cavies.
To conclude, there’s a big difference between the diet of a guinea pig and a pig.
Cavies Sound Different from Pigs
Of course, our little cavies don’t oink like pigs; they wheek instead.
Oinking is the common sound pigs make. In addition, pigs equally make other sounds such as snorting and grunting.
However, aside from wheeking, guinea pigs make other different noises that mean different things. They include chutting, purring, teeth-chattering, etc.
So, the oinking, snorting, or grunting that a pig does are not sounds a guinea pig makes. This is because they’re different animals and communicate differently as well.
Are Guinea Pigs Half Pigs?
No, guinea pigs are not half pigs. A guinea pig must have some pig-like features to be considered half pig.
They don’t have any physical features or behavior that makes them half pigs. A guinea pig however has more features than rodents and belongs to the Caviidae group.
Are Guinea Pigs Man-Made?
Quick Answer – No! Guinea pigs are not man-made. They exist naturally as mammals. They’re originally natives of South America.
They can mate and reproduce naturally without the help of humans. However, these little creatures were domesticated years ago for different purposes.
This has made them the cuddly, affectionate creatures we see today. Humans now create more guinea pig breeds through selective breeding.
In addition, this is not like creating a whole new animal. It involves getting two different breeds to mate together.
As a result, they’ll produce a young one with more characteristics – a different breed altogether.
Additionally, the cavies used for this selective breeding are mostly the main guinea pig breeds. And the breeding process is natural.
The only role humans’ have here is to make sure that “different breeds” mate together.
Are Guinea Pigs Similar to Pigs?
No! Guinea pigs are not similar to pigs at all. In addition, they are in many ways different from pigs.
When it comes to size, pigs are naturally bigger and heavier. They’re about 35-70 in (89-180 cm) in size and weigh 300-700 lbs. (140-300 kg).
On the other hand, cavies are Pocket-sized pets. They are smaller than pigs in size. They’re about 8-16 in (20-40 cm) and weigh about 1-3 lbs. (0.5-1.5 kg).
In addition, they speak different languages. A pig usually oinks and a cavy wheek instead. And even when it comes to resemblance, a guinea pig looks different from a pig.
You’ll know pigs with their long snouts and wide noses. However, a guinea pig snout isn’t like that.
In addition, cavies share more similarities with rodents and members of their Caviidae family.
Although a pig and a guinea pig are both mammals, it doesn’t make them similar. The two animals share no striking similarities.
READ OUR FULL GUIDE ON: Are Guinea Pigs Related to Pigs?
To conclude, guinea pigs are not really pigs. These little furries are totally different from pigs.
In fact, they are the kind of mammals belonging to the Caviidae family. You should also know that no part of a guinea pig is like a pig.
The suidae group is the family of pigs. A guinea pig isn’t a member of this family. Moreover, the two animals don’t communicate and sound alike.
They equally are different when it comes to their physical features and the foods they eat. Additionally, a guinea pig is not called a guinea “pig” because it’s a pig.
There’s a different reason for such naming. You can read this full guide on Why Guinea Pigs are Called Guinea Pigs.
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