Many people who own guinea pigs believe that these furry creatures are nocturnal animals. The debate about whether or not guinea pigs are nocturnal extends to the question of whether they sleep.
A study published in the Journal of Animal Behavior concluded that, while it is possible that they might be nocturnal, there was not enough evidence to conclude that were. A similar conclusion has been reached by other studies on this topic. However, a more recent study found that guinea pig activity patterns do vary with time of day and that their sleeping habits may differ from those of rats.
What is nocturnal?
Many people think that all animals are nocturnal, but some actually sleep during the day. Guinea pigs are nocturnal. They have a circadian rhythm and their activity peaks at night. This means that they tend to wake up around dusk and go back to bed after midnight. Their eyes also close when they’re sleeping.
How do guinea pigs sleep?
Guinea pigs sleep about 12 hours a day. They sleep most of the day and are nocturnal. During the day, they rest in an upright position with their heads raised off the ground. At night, they curl into balls on top of each other for warmth. When they’re asleep, their breathing slows down. The only time you’ll see them move is if they need to eat or drink water.
Some guinea pigs are nocturnal animals which means they are active at night. At night they move around more than during the day and forage for food. They also “thump” or dance on their hind legs, possibly to communicate with other guinea pigs.
Different guinea pigs have different social structures and preferences, but some prefer socializing with other guinea pigs while others choose the company of humans. Guinea pig owners should be aware that a single male can sire up to 20 litters per year!