Fun Shiny Guinea Pig Facts For Kids

Akinwalere Olaleye
Feb 14, 2023 By Akinwalere Olaleye
Originally Published on Sep 02, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
Discover interesting facts about Shiny Guinea Pig here.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.7 Min

Guinea pigs, also known as cavies, are rodents in the kingdom Animalia. They belong to the family Caviidae. Wagler first named the species Cavia fulgida in 1831; P.W. Lund recognized a Cavia rufescens in the year 1841, but Oldfield Thomas (1901) considered these to be the same species. Guinea pigs are domesticated rodent species (Cavia porcellus). They are endemic to South America. However, guinea pigs have been popular as pets and food for thousands of years, and this species no longer survives in the wild.

Guinea pigs were domesticated over 3,000 years ago by the Incas. According to Sharon Lynn Vanderlip, author of 'The Guinea Pig Handbook', they kept them as pets and for food. They also used these rodents as sacrifices to their gods. Selective breeding by these people resulted in modifications in coat color, pattern, and texture, as well as subtleties of taste, wrote Vanderlip. In the late 16th century, Spanish conquerors brought guinea pigs to Europe from South America, where, according to National Geographic, they became popular pets in Elizabethan society.

You can also check out many interesting facts about other animal species such as garden dormouse facts and Japanese dwarf flying squirrel facts.

Shiny Guinea Pig Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a shiny guinea pig?

The shiny guinea pig is a member of the rodent family that is usually found in Southern America. This cavy is from the phylum Chordata.

What class of animal does a shiny guinea pig belong to?

The shiny guinea pig is a rodent species that belong to the class Mammalia, phylum Chordata, and kingdom Animalia.

How many shiny guinea pigs are there in the world?

The population size of shiny guinea pigs has not been estimated yet.

Where does a shiny guinea pig live?

Shiny guinea pigs, and other guinea species of phylum Chordata, are native to South America. They are also found in Brazil. These rodents are endemic to the Atlantic Forest ecoregions.

What is a shiny guinea pig's habitat?

While domesticated Guinea pigs are now not present withinside the wild, they do have a few cousins referred to as Guinea pigs that live in South America. These rodents stay in woodlands, savannas, mountainous grasslands, and bushy regions. According to the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), the Brazilian cavy is found in Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guyana, Uruguay, northern Argentina, and Paraguay. The Moleques do Sul guinea pig is endemic to Moleques Island do Sul, a 10.5 hectares island in Santa Catarina, Brazil. C.fulgida rodent lives in seaside regions of southeastern Brazil.

Who does shiny guinea pig live with?

The shiny guinea pig is a very social animal and prefers to live in a group called a herd. It prefers to live with its own types but does not hesitate to live with humans as pets.

How long does a shiny guinea pig live?

The life span of C. fulgida species ranges between four to eight years.

How do they reproduce?

Little is known about the reproduction of guinea pigs. In captivity, they can breed all year. Females have a gestation period of 59-72 days, after which they give birth to three to four pups on average. Although, the maximum number of babies lay is 13. Along with drinking their mothers' milk, pups can also eat solid food just after they are born. After about three weeks, pups are detached, and they are fully developed and mature in just two or three months. C. fulgida and other guinea pigs species live much longer than other tiny rodents.

What is their conservation status?

Along with other domesticated guinea pigs, C. fulgida and the majority of their wild cousins are at no risk of extinction. They are indexed as of Least Concern in the Red List of Threatened Species by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Shiny Guinea Pig Fun Facts

What does the shiny guinea pig look like?

Shiny Guinea Pigs are one of the cutest creatures in the world.

The length range in C. fulgida is from 8-16 in (20.3-40.6 cm). It weighs from 1.1-3.3 lb (500-1500 g). It has a cylindrical body with no tail. Their ears are tiny and petal-shaped and their r eyes are on the side of their head. It possesses a tiny, triangular mouth with a total of 20 small teeth. Like other species of rodents, the teeth of C. fulgida grow continuously. Therefore it has to gnaw or regularly chew to keep the teeth from developing too long.

How cute are they?

Guinea pigs of South America are some of the cutest animals in the world. People love to keep them as pets because of their small size, easy diet, and adorable appearance.

How do they communicate?

C. fulgida rodents are highly sociable, talkative creatures who generally have a lot to say and use about 11 distinct sounds to communicate their feelings. In fact, these mammals use sound as their main means of communication, and being herd animals, sounds are also their means of controlling their social status. These mammals exhibit a classic 'wheek, wheek, wheek' sound, which is a unique and common utterance that is most commonly used to convey anticipation or excitement, especially about feeding. Many rodents whistle very loudly for tasty treats when their owners open the refrigerator or take out food. Some devotees of these mammals consider wheeking as a begging. It can also serve as a greeting or a request for care from their loved ones.

How big is a shiny guinea pig?

The total body length of a shiny guinea pig is around 8-16 in (20.3-40.6 cm), which is far larger than an Indian palm squirrel.

How fast can a shiny guinea pig run?

On average, cavies can attain speeds of up to 6mph (9.7 kph). This might not appear very fast, however, it is as compared to their size.

How much does a shiny guinea pig weigh?

The weight of c. fulgida ranges from 1.1-3.3 lb (500-1500 g). They are 20 times bigger than shrews.

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male is called a boar and a female is called a sow.

What would you call a baby shiny guinea pig?

A baby shiny guinea pig is called a pup.

What do they eat?

Cavies are herbivores. Domesticated guinea pigs usually eat prepared pellets or commercial food formed of alfalfa or timothy hay, as well as vitamins and minerals that guinea pigs need for their health. These animals also feed on vegetables and fruits such as mustard, apples, peppers, kale, carrots, bananas, and blueberries. Unlike other tiny animals, guinea pigs need vitamin C to remain healthy, according to the Humane Society of the United States. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, these mammals do not require to drink when they eat wet food. Specialized water bottles that swing from the bars of a cage are a great method to meet the shiny guinea pig's water needs.

Are they dangerous?

No, cavies are not dangerous animals. In fact, these mammals are sweet and friendly who do not hesitate to live with human beings.

Would they make a good pet?

Yes, cavies are one of the most adorable animals in the world, especially in South America. They can easily recognize their owners.

Did you know...

Cavies are crepuscular, which means they are most productive around dawn and dusk.

These mammals can frequently make small leaps in the air when they are excited, also called popcorning.

A cavy is an animal that can walk immediately when it is born.

The white-crested guinea pig has the rarest body color.

How long do guinea pigs sleep at night?

To stay healthy, cavies need four to six hours of sleep a day. However, these mammals are the kings of power naps and normally only sleep a few minutes to recharge. Older mammals or those settled in a routine can rest for up to 30 minutes at once.

Why is it called shiny guinea pig?

Nobody is really sure where the name guinea pig came from. Some people say ships that left the port of Guinea in South America or in West Africa may have brought the animals to the European market.

Small fur animals have identification crises in other languages ​​too, wrote Vanderlip. In Germany, these rodents were known as meerschweinchen (little guinea pigs). In France, these animals are lapins de Barbarie (barbary rabbits). However, in Portugal, they are known as porchitas da India (little pigs of India).  According to Vanderlip, cavies have been used in laboratories since the 19th century to study nutrition, toxicology, genetics, and pathology.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these spiny rats facts and Alabama beach mouse facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable shiny guinea pig coloring pages.

Shiny Guinea Pig Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Fruits, vegetables, nuts

What Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?


How Much Did They Weigh?

1.1-3.3 lb (500-1500 g)

What habitat Do they Live In?

woodlands, savannas, grasslands

Where Do They Live?

south america

How Long Were They?

8-16 in (20.3-40.6 cm)

How Tall Were They?








Scientific Name

Cavia fulgida

What Do They Look Like?

Black, brown, white, cream

Skin Type


What Are Their Main Threats?


What is their Conservation Status?

Least Concern
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Written by Akinwalere Olaleye

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

Akinwalere Olaleye picture

Akinwalere OlaleyeBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

As a highly motivated, detail-oriented, and energetic individual, Olaleye's expertise lies in administrative and management operations. With extensive knowledge as an Editor and Communications Analyst, Olaleye excels in editing, writing, and media relations. Her commitment to upholding professional ethics and driving organizational growth sets her apart. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the University of Benin, Edo State. 

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