The Wild Cavy Guinea Pig
The wild cavy, which is the ancestor of all our domestic guinea pigs,
is found in the mountainous regions of Peru, Chile and other neighboring
south American countries. The fur of the wild animal is typically gray
brown in color but, if one were to take a close look at an individual
hair, it would be found to be gray at its base, brown in the center and
black at its tip, a characteristic which is known as agouti coloration.
The wild cavy is lighter on its underside and, in some cases, may have
patches of white.
Cavies are semi-social animals and live in small groups dominated by
an adult boar. As the numbers in a group increase, boars will squabble
for the dominant position and weaker members will be banished from the
group. They live in densely vegetated areas, where they rely on the
cover to protect them from predatory attacks.
The wild cavy is mainly nocturnal but may be out at any time of the day
foraging for food - consisting of various foliage and roots - providing
it can move under, or near to cover.