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Their scientific name is Cavia Tschuldi and their nickname in South America where they were first discovered, is Cavy. As you might have guessed Guinea Pigs are rodents.
Near the Andes Mountains in Peru over a thousand years ago , some Inca Indians were exploring near the tall grass on the edge of a forest, when they found dozens of little hairy creatures scampering around.
The fat little animals when they bent down to pick them up did not bite or even seem to mind . The Incas soon learned that the cavies or cuy, were wild but safe animals, who liked to hide in tall grass away from the hungry owls and other predators that they were easy prey to.
They searched out burrows and homes made by rabbits or snakes or other creatures and made these spaces their home. When it was night and dark, they would wander out to find food. Wild guinea pigs live all over South America from Argentina to Columbia. Some scientists say that the Inca Indians were the first to tame the wild guinea pigs, but other scientists think that even prehistoric people as far back as 5000 B.C. were keeping guinea pigs as pets and raising them as a source of food.
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