* The guinea pig or 'cavy' is a species of rodent in the family Caviidae and the genus Cavia.
* The Scientific name of the guinea pig is Cavia porcellus (Porcellus is latin for "little pig")
* Despite being called 'guinea pigs' they are not in the pig family or from Guinea.
* Guinea pigs originated in the Andes mountains of South America.
* They do not exist naturally in the wild, instead are domesticated descendants of a closely related species the Cavia aperea.
* The guinea pig has been a popular household pet in Western societies since they were first bought back by European traders as long ago as the 16th century.
* They are still very popular as pets today due to their quiet nature, their openness to humans through handling and feeding, and the relative ease of caring for them.
* Guinea pigs purr when they are happy, often, like a cat it is when they are being held or petted. They make a whistle noise when they are excited, usually on seeing their owner or when its feeding time.
* Grass is the guinea pig's main diet of food, they also need to eat fresh fruit and vegetables.
* Guinea pigs on average weigh 0.70 to 1.2 kg (1.5 - 2.5 lbs), and are 20 to 25 cm (8 - 10 inches) long.
* Guinea pigs live on average for 4 - 5 years but sometimes as long as 8 years.