Introduction: Guinea Pigs and Rodents
Guinea pigs and rodents are both mammals of the order Rodentia. What many people don’t know is that rodents are a suborder of mammals that include squirrels, beavers, mice, rats, and guinea pigs. These mammals all have a pair of continuously growing incisors in the upper and lower jaws. One difference between a rodent and a guinea pig is that a rodent’s tail is pointed whereas a guinea pig’s tail is not pointed.
Where do Guinea Pigs and Rodents Differ?
A common misconception is that guinea pigs are rodents. The truth is that they are related to rabbits and not rodents. Guinea pigs actually belong to the order of animals called “Rodentia”. Rodents are typically smaller than guinea pigs, have short tails, and produce different types of droppings. They also have fewer teeth than guinea pigs. Essentially, guinea pigs are in their own category while rodents are part of another group.
How can you tell if a rodent is a guinea pig?
Many people are unable to tell if a rodent is a guinea pig. Even though they are mammals that belong to the same family, they are very different animals. The easiest way to tell if you have found a guinea pig or not is to look at the front teeth. Guinea pigs have needle-like teeth, while rodents have flat teeth. They also have different habitats. Guinea pigs live in burrows in dry climates whereas rodents live in moist subterranean burrows in humid environments.
Conclusion: Guinea pigs are not rodents.
Guinea pigs are not rodents. They are actually considered to be lagomorphs which is a mammalian order of herbivores also known as the “pika family” and includes the rabbit, cottontail, and pika. Guinea pigs belong to a different genus than rats and mice so there is no worry about any cross-contamination.