The question is why the guinea pig is so called. It seems that the animal refers to future spray, but has no relation to artiodactyls. And why then sea? It is unlikely that salt water – it seems not adapted. There is an explanation and it is quite prosaic.
Origin of Guinea Pigs
To understand why a guinea pig was called a guinea pig, you should turn to history. The Latin name for this funny animal is Cavia porcellus, a family of pigs. Other name: cavy and guinea pig. By the way, this is another case that should be dealt with; the animals also have no relation to Guinea.
These rodents have been known to man since ancient times and domesticated by the tribes of South America. Incas and other representatives of the continent ate animals. They were also used as ritual sacrifices. From archaeological sites to animals and animals.
The European continents became famous in the 16th century after the conquest of Colombia, Bolivia and Peru by the Spanish conquistadors. Shopping centers in England, Holland and Spain bring unusual animals to their homeland, where they spread in an aristocratic environment as pets.
Where did the name guinea pig come from
The term Cavia in the scientific name is derived from Cabiai. So called the animal representatives of the Galibi tribes living in Guiana (South America). The literal translation from Latin porcellus means "little pig." In different countries it is customary to name an animal in different ways. The more common abbreviation for Cavia is the name Cavi or Kevi. In their homeland, they are called kui (gui) and aperi, in Britain – Indian pigs, and in Western Europe – Peruvian.
Wild Guinea Pig is called "Little Pig" in Guiana
Why is it still “marine”?
Such a name was a little animal only in Russia, Poland (Merinshwein). The unpretentiousness and kind nature of guinea pigs made them frequent companions of sailors. In Europe, only by sea. Probably, for this reason, associations of small rodents with water appeared. As for Russia, such a name was probably borrowed from the Polish name. Such an option is not excluded: overseas, i.e. outlandish sounds came from afar, and then contracted, dropping the prefix.
There is also such a version: in order for Catholic priests to count capybara (capybara) as food. Perhaps they called guinea pigs.
Why a pig?
Little Indian pig, Dutch (Guinean pig), French and Chinese.
Probably should be sought in external resemblance. A thick barrel-shaped body on low legs, a short neck and a large figure resembles a pig. Of these, sounds can be associated. In a calm state, they vaguely resemble a grunt. They sit in small pens.
Another reason lies in the culinary preferences of the natives in the homeland of animals. Domesticated animals were raised for slaughter, like pigs. Appearance and taste, reminiscent of a milk pig, which were seen by the first Spanish colonizers, and I gave them the opportunity to call animals like that.
At home they use rodents. Food and salt in large quantities. And by the way, cooked by helicopter.
Spaniards called guinea pig indian rabbit
By the way, these animals are associated in different countries not only with pigs, but also with other animals. Merswin (dolphin), probably for similar published sounds. The Japanese call their morumotto (from the English "groundhog").
Where did the word “Guinean” come from in the name?
It was a strange confusion, because Guinea is located in West America, and not in South America, where the guinea pigs came from.
There are several explanations for this discrepancy:
- pronunciation error: Guiana (South America) and Guinea (West Africa) sounds very similar. In addition, both territories are former French colonies;
- ships that brought animals from Guiana to Europe followed through Africa and Guinea accordingly;
- both “overseas” in Russian and “Guinean” in English;
- guinea – the currency for which exotic animals were sold.
The ancestors of guinea pigs and their domestication
The alleged ancestors of modern pets are Cavia cutlen and Cavia aperea tschudii, and now they live almost everywhere in South America. They can be found both in the savannah and at the edges of forests, on rocky sections of mountains and even in marshy areas. Often grouping up to ten individuals in which other animals live. They feed on serious plant foods and breed year-round. Color gray-brown with a light belly.
Domestication of peaceful rodents began to engage the Inca peoples since about the 13th century. When animals appeared in European countries, they were in demand in scientific laboratories for experiments. Good looks, good nature and sociability are gradually gaining the attention of connoisseurs. Reliable settlers all over the world as favorite pets.
To date, breeders were more than 20 breeds that are distinguished by a variety of colors.
They are usually divided into groups:
- long-haired (Angora, Merino, Texel, Sheltie, Peruvian and others);
- Shorthair (christening, selfies);
- wirecoat (Rex, American Teddy, Abyssinian);
- hairless (skinny, baldwin).
Unlike natural wild color, now you can meet your favorite black, red, white colors and all kinds of shades. From monochromatic colors, breeders brought spotted and even tricolor animals. Very funny looking long-haired animals with rosette hair, having a funny disheveled appearance. Body length 25-35 cm, depending on the breed, weight varies from 600 to 1500 g. Small pets live from 5 to 8 years.
The ancestors of guinea pig began to tame
Here are such curious facts about the history of guinea pigs and why they are so called. However, the name should be unusual.