Animals of South America
Guinea pigs today are thought to have been domesticated over 3,000 years ago from a wild species that lived in South America. They are still raised for food there. When the Europeans colonized South America, guinea pigs were taken to Europe as pets, eventually becoming a household pet around the whole world.
Guinea pigs are highly social and require the companionship of other guinea pigs. Males establish social hierarchies, competing for dominance, territory, and mates. When threatened by a predator, guinea pigs can respond in one of two ways: either by remaining motionless until the threat has passed, or if the guinea pigs are in a group, they will scatter in order to disorient the predator.
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