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  

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