interesting facts about guinea pigs

5 Interesting Facts About Guinea Pigs No One Told You About

Here are some completely random but very interesting facts about guinea pigs that no one told you about, because they are not common at all.

Are you tired of the classic “Did you know, guinea pigs are not pigs? They’re rodents” facts? I mean, come on, every guinea pig owner knows that. In this article, I’m going to tell you some actual fun facts about guinea pigs.

You can see more rare shocking facts about guinea pigs here.

Without further ado, let’s dive in!

1. If guinea pigs were to run a marathon at top speed non-stop, it would take them 4 hours  and 23 minutes to reach the finish line

Sure, you can say this is pretty unrealistic because of the fact that guinea pigs won’t run nonstop at this fast of a speed for more than 4 hours. But this is to give you a rough picture of how fast guinea pigs can sprint, which is up to 6 miles per hour. Or 9.66 kilometres per hour. And that is pretty damn fast for a tiny potato. 

Keep in mind that a marathon is always 26.2 miles or 42.16 kilometres.

So the next time you see your guinea pigs melt on the floor into a pancake, just know that they might be able to run just as fast as you.

the oldest portrait of a guinea pig as a pet - interesting facts about guinea pigs

2. The first-ever portrait discovered of a guinea pig as a pet was sold for 418,290.60

This is the earliest known portrait of a guinea pig. The National Portrait Gallery claims it is “possibly the earliest known depiction of the animal in a portrait”.

It shows the three Elizabeth children, two boys and one girl, at seven, six, and five years old. and the girl was holding her white and brown guinea pig. 

 It is a 16th-century oil painting painted by an unknown Anglo-Netherlands artist in around 1580 when guinea pigs were just introduced to Europe from South America by Spanish merchants

The painting was originally privately owned, and it is worth 329000 pounds, or  418,290.60 USD, or 552708.28 CAD.

 People noted that this guinea pig might be the few piggies in the 16th century that seem comfortable being held by a human and not worrying about being turned into lunch, like what they probably would be if they were in South America. 

3. The largest litter of guinea pigs lived is 9 pups

A guinea pig called Casperina owned by Ruth Winkler in Glasshouse Mountains, Queensland, Australia in Austria holds the world record for the largest litter.

 An average litter for guinea pigs is 2-5 pups but this guinea pigs’ mother birthed a whooping 9 pups and they all survived. Other piggies have had larger litters of 10 but not all the pups survived. This record had been held since 1992!

Guinea pig mother Casperina and her guinea pig pups - interesting facts about guinea pigs

4. Guinea pigs have both good and bad eyesight

Many of us think that guinea pigs have very bad eyesight, but that is not 100% true. Now what do I mean by them having good and bad eyesight? 

Well, guinea pigs can see in front of them, above them, and to the sides of them, all without moving their heads! Because they are prey animals and need to stay alert for predators at all times, guinea pigs have something called peripheral vision, where their eyes are arranged very laterally.  and they can see 340 degrees. 

But, guinea pigs have very poor depth perception and can only see 1 to 1 and a half meters in front of them, and can’t make out fine details. They also can’t see anything below their noses.

Because of these characteristics, guinea pigs cannot properly judge distances and heights, and that’s why they can easily fall off a high height. 

Guinea pigs can also see about 33 frames per second, as opposed to the 22 frames per second that the human eye is capable of processing. This means that they can react faster than us and their vision won’t be blurry when they whip their heads around. 

These potato-shaped furballs don’t see well in the dark, but they are not colourblind. They can see colour, just not as clearly.

5. Guinea Pig’s teeth grow 1-2mm every week

Guinea pigs have 20 teeth, and that’s 12 less than a human has. They have 4 incisors, which are what you see when your guinea pigs eat, They are sharp, and used for grooming and nibbling on their food. 

Then comes 4 premolars, narrower than incisors and located behind it. It’s used for chewing and grinding tough food like hay. 

Behind those are the 12 heavy-duty grinders, also known as molars. So the power of your guinea pig’s teeth is probably stronger than their brains. 

We know that guinea pigs’ teeth are always growing, but they actually grow 1-2 millimetres per week. That might seem very little, but an average fingernail in humans grows about 0.87 millimetres every week, which is less than the speed of your piggies’ teeth. 

And that’s why they need lots of food and things to chew on to prevent teeth overgrown.

Guinea pigs are creatures that are often misunderstood. Here are some common myths about guinea pigs that owners are tired of hearing. Are you one of them?

Conclusion

So these are just some of the most random but interesting guinea pig facts you don’t normally find on the internet. Guinea pigs may look like they are fluffy potatoes that just munch on hay every day, but they are so much more than that. 

If you found this article interesting, feel free to check out some other shocking guinea pig facts that are just as fascinating. Thankyou for reading!

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