Guinea pig
The guinea pig also called the cavy, is a species of rodent
Rodentia is an order of mammals also known as rodents, characterised by two continuously growing incisors in the upper and lower jaws which must be kept short by gnawing....

 belonging to the family Caviidae
The cavy family is a family of rodents native to South America, and including the domestic guinea pig, wild cavies, and the capybara, among other animals...

 and the genus Cavia
Cavia is a genus in the subfamily Caviinae that contains the rodents commonly known as guinea pigs. The best-known species in this genus is the domestic guinea pig, Cavia porcellus, an important meat animal in South America and a common household pet in the West.-Taxonomic controversy:Cavia are...

. Despite their common name
Common name
A common name of a taxon or organism is a name in general use within a community; it is often contrasted with the scientific name for the same organism...

, these animals are not in the pig family
Suidae is the biological family to which pigs belong. In addition to numerous fossil species, up to sixteen extant species are currently recognized, classified into between four and eight genera...

, nor are they from Guinea
Guinea (region)
Guinea is a traditional name for the region of Africa that lies along the Gulf of Guinea. It stretches north through the forested tropical regions and ends at the Sahel.-History:...

. They originated in the Andes
The Andes is the world's longest continental mountain range. It is a continual range of highlands along the western coast of South America. This range is about long, about to wide , and of an average height of about .Along its length, the Andes is split into several ranges, which are separated...

, and earlier studies based on biochemistry and hybridization suggested they are domesticated
Domestication or taming is the process whereby a population of animals or plants, through a process of selection, becomes accustomed to human provision and control. In the Convention on Biological Diversity a domesticated species is defined as a 'species in which the evolutionary process has been...

 descendants of a closely related species of cavy such as Cavia aperea
Brazilian Guinea Pig
The Brazilian Guinea Pig is a guinea pig species from South America. It is found in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay and Uruguay....

, C. fulgida
Shiny Guinea Pig
The Shiny Guinea Pig, Cavia fulgida, is a guinea pig species from South America. It is found in Brazil and ArgentinaWagler in 1831 first called the species Cavia fulgida; P. W. Lund identified a Cavia rufescens in 1841, but since Oldfield Thomas these are considered to be identical species....

, or C. tschudii
Montane Guinea Pig
The Montane Guinea Pig, Cavia tschudii, is a guinea pig species from South America. It is found in Peru.Peruvian wild guinea pigs were first described by E. T. Bennett in 1835, who termed them Cavia cutleri...

and, therefore, do not exist naturally in the wild.