Highest Explore Position #446 ~ On October 6th 2008.
Guinea Pig - Wingham Wildlife Park, Kent, England - Sunday September
Click here to see the Larger image
Well, I was still too sick to go to West Ham today, which was just as
well, seeing as we were rubbish and got beat 1-3!!!!!....Goal keeping
errors did for us!!!...Grrrr!!!
The game was live on Sky TV...and as it was cold and raining cats n dogs..I decided to stay in and watch it on TV...thus saving me the hassle of having to trek home again in the rain!!...at least I didn't make my self any worse then I feel at the moment...:O))
I need to feel some Californian sun on my face lol...
Anyhoo I hope you are all having a better weekend then me..:O)))
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia ~ The Guinea pig (also commonly called the cavy after its scientific name) is a species of rodent belonging to the family Caviidae and the genus Cavia. Despite their common name, these animals are not pigs, nor do they come from Guinea. They originated in the Andes, and studies based on biochemistry and hybridization suggest they are domesticated descendants of a closely related species of cavy such as Cavia aperea, C. fulgida or C. tschudii, and therefore do not exist naturally in the wild. The guinea pig plays an important role in the folk culture of many Indigenous South American groups, especially as a food source, but also in folk medicine and in community religious ceremonies. Since the 1960s, efforts have been made to increase consumption of the animal outside South America.
In Western societies, the guinea pig has enjoyed widespread popularity
as a household pet since its introduction by European traders in the
16th century. Their docile nature, their responsiveness to handling
and feeding, and the relative ease of caring for them, continue to
make the guinea pig a popular pet. Organizations devoted to
competitive breeding of guinea pigs have been formed worldwide, and
many specialized breeds of guinea pig, with varying coat colors and
compositions, are cultivated by breeders.
Guinea pig is also used as a metaphor in English for a subject of experimentation; this usage became common in the first half of the 20th century. Biological experimentation on guinea pigs has been carried out since the 17th century; the animals were frequently used as a model organism in the 19th and 20th centuries, but have since been largely replaced by other rodents such as mice and rats. They are still used in research, primarily as models for human medical conditions such as juvenile diabetes, tuberculosis, scurvy, and pregnancy complications.
The common guinea pig was first domesticated as early as 5000 BC for
food by tribes in the Andean region of South America (present-day
Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia). Statues dating from ca. 500 BC to 500 AD
that depict guinea pigs have been unearthed in archaeological digs in
Peru and Ecuador. The Moche people of ancient Peru worshipped animals
and often depicted the guinea pig in their art. From ca. 1200 AD to
the Spanish conquest in 1532, selective breeding resulted in many
varieties of domestic guinea pigs, which form the basis for some of
the modern domestic breeds. They continue to be a food source in the
region; most households in the Andean highlands raise the animal,
which subsists off the family's vegetable scraps. Folklore traditions
involving guinea pigs are numerous; they are exchanged as gifts, used
in customary social and religious ceremonies, and frequently
referenced in spoken metaphors.They also play a role in traditional
healing rituals by folk doctors, or curanderos, who use the animals to
diagnose diseases such as jaundice, rheumatism, arthritis and typhus.
They are rubbed against the bodies of the sick, and are seen as a
supernatural medium. Black guinea pigs are considered especially
useful for diagnoses.The animal also may be cut open and its entrails
examined to determine whether the cure was effective. These methods
are widely accepted in many parts of the Andes, where Western medicine
is either unavailable or distrusted.
Spanish, Dutch and English traders brought guinea pigs to Europe, where they quickly became popular as exotic pets among the upper classes and royalty, including Queen Elizabeth I.The earliest known written account of the guinea pig dates from 1547, in a description of the animal from Santo Domingo; because cavies are not native to Hispaniola, the animal must have been introduced there by Spanish travelers. The guinea pig was first described in the West in 1554 by the Swiss naturalist Konrad Gesner. Its binomial scientific name was first used by Erxleben in 1777; it is an amalgam of Pallas's generic designation (1766) and Linnaeus's specific conferral (1758).