Kissing Cousins

Cavies and Guinea Pigs and Maras

There are 18 species in this family including maras, cavies, and guinea pigs. They are all found in South America.

 

One species, the lesser capybara, is found in Panama in Central America. 

 

They are found in a variety of habitats including mountains, grasslands, andwetlands. Most species live in groups in burrows and are active during the day. They are herbivores. Cavies and guinea pigs look similar. They have rounded bodies, short legs, large heads, no tails, and short necks. Maras look like a little bit like hares. They have long legs, and their rear legs are longer than their front legs.

  1. Brazilian Guinea Pig - Cavia aperea   

  2. Shiny Guinea Pig - Cavia fulgida   

  3. Santa Catarina's Guinea Pig - Cavia intermedia   

  4. Greater Guinea Pig - Cavia magna   

  5. Montane Guinea Pig - Cavia tschudii   

  6. Patagonian Mara - Dolichotis patagonum   

  7. Conejo Del Palo - Dolichotis salinicola   

  8. Yellow-toothed Cavy - Galea flavidens   

  9. Muenster Yellow-toothed Cavy - Galea monasteriensis  

  10.  Common Yellow-toothed Cavy - Galea musteloides   

  11. Spix's Yellow-toothed Cavy - Galea spixii   

  12. Capybara - Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris   

  13. Lesser Capybara - Hydrochoerus isthmius   

  14. Acrobatic Cavy - Kerodon acrobata  

  15. Rock Cavy - Kerodon rupestris   

  16. Southern Mountain Cavy - Microcavia australis   

  17. Andean Mountain Cavy - Microcavia niata   

  18. Shipton's Mountain Cavy - Microcavia shiptoni  

Rodent Rogue's Gallery

Microcavia shiptoni

Microcavia shiptoni

Shipton's Mountain Cavy - Microcavia shiptoni

Microcavia niata

Microcavia niata

Andean Mountain Cavy - Microcavia niata

Microcavia

Microcavia

Southern Mountain Cavy - Microcavia australis

Kerodon rupestris

Kerodon rupestris

Rock Cavy - Kerodon rupestris

Kerodon acrobata

Kerodon acrobata

Acrobatic Cavy - Kerodon acrobata

Hydrochoerus isthmius

Hydrochoerus isthmius

Lesser Capybara - Hydrochoerus isthmius

Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris

Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris

Capybara - Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris

Galea spixii

Galea spixii

Spix's Yellow-toothed Cavy - Galea spixii

Galea musteloides

Galea musteloides

Common Yellow-toothed Cavy - Galea musteloides

Galea monasteriensis

Galea monasteriensis

Muenster Yellow-toothed Cavy - Galea monasteriensis

Galea flavidens

Galea flavidens

Yellow-toothed Cavy - Galea flavidens

Dolichotis salinicola

Dolichotis salinicola

Conejo Del Palo - Dolichotis salinicola

Dolichotis patagonum

Dolichotis patagonum

Patagonian Mara - Dolichotis patagonum

Cavia tschudii

Cavia tschudii

Montane Guinea Pig - Cavia tschudii

Cavia magna

Cavia magna

Greater Guinea Pig - Cavia magna photo courtesy of Hamerton

Cavia fulgida

Cavia fulgida

Shiny Guinea Pig - Cavia fulgida Help me find a picture!

Cavia aperea

Cavia aperea

Brazilian Guinea Pig - Cavia aperea photo courtesy of Cláudio Timm

Cavia intermedia

Cavia intermedia

Santa Catarina's Guinea Pig - Cavia intermedia Moleques do Sul cavy, Cavia intermedia - Santa Catarina’s guinea pig is one of the rarest species on the planet because of its very small population size (approximately 42 individuals). It also has one of the smallest geographic distributions of any mammal – less than 10 ha. Its ancestors diverged from the mainland guinea pigs following the isolation of Moleques do Sul Island as a result of rising sea levels some 8,000 years ago.

Phoberomys pattersoni

Phoberomys pattersoni

Phoberomys pattersoni, a 1,500-pound (680-kilogram) rodent the size of a buffalo, roamed South America eight million years ago. Researchers say Phoberomys looked more like a giant guinea pig than an oversized house rat. Like the buffalo and many dinosaurs, it flourished on a diet of vegetation.

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