Primates, including humans and guinea pigs share a dietary need for Vitamin C. All other species can synthesize their own Vitamin C. Guinea pigs (Caviar porcellus) are cherished pets in many areas including the Folsom City Zoo Sanctuary where guinea pigs Coco and Pebbles are petted, hugged, loved and appropriately pampered.
In spite of the common name, these animals are not members of the pig family, nor are they from Guinea. As early as 5000 BC these animals were raised for food in the Andean regions where they still are, dare-we-say, a food mainstay in some areas.
Guinea pigs were introduced by European traders in the 16th century and enjoyed widespread popularity as household pets in Western societies. In the 19th and 2Oth centuries “guinea pigs” were laboratory test subjects, but now have mostly been replaced by other rodents such as mice and rats.