The guinea pig or home guinea pig (Cavia porcellus), also known as cavy or domestic cavy, is a species of rodent belonging to the family Caviidae and the genus Cavia. Despite their common call, guinea pigs are not native to Guinea, nor are they biologically associated with pigs, and the foundation of the call is still doubtful. They originated in the Andes of South America, and research based totally on biochemistry and hybridization endorse they're domesticated descendants of a intently associated species of cavy inclusive of C. Tschudii, and therefore do no longer exist obviously within the wild. They had been firstly domesticated as farm animals, as a supply of meals, and stay.
In Western society, the domestic guinea pig has loved big recognition as a pocket puppy, a kind of household puppy, seeing that its introduction via European buyers inside the 16th century. Their docile nature, friendly responsiveness to handling and feeding, and the relative ease of caring for them have made and maintain to make guinea pigs a popular preference of puppy. Organizations devoted to the competitive breeding of guinea pigs have been fashioned global, and plenty of specialized breeds with various coat hues and textures are selected by breeders.
The home guinea pig performs an important function in folks lifestyle for plenty indigenous Andean companies, specially as a food source, but additionally in people medicine and in network non secular ceremonies. The animals are used for meat and are a culinary staple inside the Andes Mountains, where they're called cuy. A present day breeding program turned into started out in the 1960s in Peru that led to large breeds known as cuy mejorados (improved cuy) and caused efforts to growth intake of the animal outside South America.
Biological experimentation on home guinea pigs has been performed since the seventeenth century. The animals have been so frequently used as model organisms inside the nineteenth and 20th centuries that the epithet guinea pig got here into use to describe a human take a look at problem. Since that point, they had been in large part changed by way of other rodents together with mice and rats. However, they may be nevertheless utilized in studies, in general as fashions for human medical conditions which includes juvenile diabetes, tuberculosis, scurvy (like people, they have to get nutrition C), and pregnancy complications.