Guinea pigs gained popularity as Pets, but few know about their origins.These little animals with brown fur was similar to rabbits, and locals willingly ate their delicious meat. The birthplace of wild pigs in Peru and Chile, over time, the area of their settlement on the mainland is very expanded. Now these rodents can be found in many countries of the continent, such as Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia. Animals live in forests, Savannah, sandy and rocky terrain, where they hide behind rocks to escape from predators.
In biology of the Guinea pig wearing the Latin name Cavia, underneath combine several subspecies of South American rodents. The closest species to the ornamental domesticated pig is called Cuy. "Sea" the pig was already in Europe — so the Germans called cute like piglets animals brought from across the sea, and then this name was adopted by the poles, and from them the Russians. The English call Guinea pigs "Guinea" is the definition of a household nature means any phenomenon from exotic countries.
A wild Guinea pig looks a bit different from our usual proportions of their domesticated relatives. Body CAVI smaller and lighter looks more elongated, the legs are also longer. The skeleton of animals lightweight and sturdy, so they rarely get broken even after falling from height. Wild kawie strong, agile, fast, able to jump, even climb onto the ledge, digging shelters in the sand. It is lively and nimble animal, instantly breaking away from the seat at the sound of danger, possessing sufficient endurance to travel long distances.
The coat color of wild pigs differs most notably — forest dwellers can not boast of such bright coats as their domesticated cousins. Wool kawii brownish or grayish with how this color helps them to hide from enemies in Savannah, go unnoticed even for the sharp-eyed birds of prey. Feature of wool enables animals to tolerate extreme heat up to 45 degrees and to survive the cold.
REFERENCE: Kavii are able to survive even light frosts, low temperature usually leads to the death of only weak, sick animals.
How to live wild Guinea pigs
Kawii herbivores, a large part of life consists of finding and absorbing plant food. So live Guinea pigs in nature are usually in the area where there are enough suitable food for them:
- seeds and grass plants;
- different types of wild herbs, flowers;
- roots, branches, twigs, bushes;
- the leaves, bark of trees, their fruit.
If the food is finished, or enough to feed a flock, kawii go in search of a better place, sometimes moving long distances. Life Guinea pigs in the wild is a constant forward motion, researching new areas. When necessary, Guinea pigs swim across streams, small rivers, but do not differ a great love for the water. Only some subspecies kawii settle on the banks of ponds, feeding on aquatic plants.
IMPORTANT: in the Wild Guinea pigs do not require continuous proximity to the pond to quench their thirst. It is enough for the moisture extracted from succulent fruits, herbs, and dew and rain drops collecting on the plants.
Rodents move in small flocks of 10-15 adult females, the leader is always male. Most of the females during the day, watching the cubs, others are looking for food and guarding the territory, then they switch roles. The ability to produce high-pitched sounds allows pigs to communicate at considerable distances, warning each other of the approach of the enemy.
When older males from a new generation, there is an inevitable struggle for power, then the strongest takes the place of a leader, and defeated males leave the pack. Also, there are conflicts with other populations, when there is a fight for territory, rich in food. But for the most part kawii peaceful, the inside of the pack skirmishes are rare, usually the showdown is limited to threatening sounds and movements.
Enemies of Guinea pigs in nature
Kavii do not have any means of protection against predatory animals and birds, so their only salvation is to hide well and rapidly to escape. To hide from the eyes of a rodent can dig a shelter, but do burrowing animals cavy can not be named. They prefer to use ready — made shelters- caves and clefts in the rocks, deserted burrows and hollows of trees.
BACKGROUND: One of the most effective means of protection in the wild — no smell. So kawii so carefully groomed and his dwelling place — the smell can specify the path of the enemy to shelter pigs.
To avoid death, furry rodents come out of hiding mainly at night and at dawn, when most predators are sleeping. Also pigs have developed the ability to sleep for 10-15 minutes every few hours, the eyes are often left ajar. The sleeping pig is ready to escape, so can instantly jumping at any sound, talking about danger.
Because of the abundance of the enemies of the wild Guinea pigs live much less home. Life expectancy kawii varies from one to five years, but due to their high reproductive capacity, the population sizes are not reduced. For each year the female brings up to four litters, each of which has up to eight cubs. Little piggies reach independence very quickly — after a few days they start to look for food, and two weeks later becomes completely independent.