Temporal range: Middle Pleistocene - Holocene
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 outside South America.
Cavia is classified in order Rodentia, although there was a minority belief in the scientific community that evidence from mitochondrial DNA and proteins suggested the Hystricognathi might belong to a different evolutionary offshoot, and therefore a different order. If so, this would be an example of convergent evolution. Other scientists were critical of this hypothesis. This uncertainty is largely of historical interest, as abundant molecular genetic evidence now conclusively supports classification of Cavia as rodents. This evidence includes draft genome sequences of Cavia porcellus and several other rodents (available on-line ).
- Cavia anolaimae (often considered a synonym of C. porcellus or a subespecies of C. aparea) - Colombia
- Cavia aperea – Brazilian guinea pig, widespread east of the Andes
- Cavia fulgida – shiny guinea pig, eastern Brazil
- Cavia guianae (often considered a synonym of C. porcellus or a subespecies of C. aparea) - Venezuela, Guyana, Brazil
- Cavia intermedia – intermediate guinea pig, Moleques do Sul islands, Santa Catarina, Brazil, first described in 1999
- Cavia magna – greater guinea pig, Uruguay, southeast Brazil
- Cavia nana (often considered a synonym of C. tschudii or a subespecies of C. aparea)
- Cavia patzelti  (often considered a synonym of C. aparea) - Ecuador
- Cavia porcellus – domestic guinea pig, wild ancestor unknown
- Cavia tschudii – montane guinea pig, Peru south to northern Chile and northwest Argentina
- Woods, C.A.; Kilpatrick, C.W. (2005). "Infraorder Hystricognathi". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 1552–1553. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
- Stiefel, Chana Freeiman (1996). "Family feud - genetic evidence seems to show that guinea pigs are not rodents". Science World. Retrieved 2013-11-14.
- ""Molecular Biology and Evolution," Vol 11, 593-604". Retrieved 4 April 2017.
-  (and references therein)
- "UCSC Genome Browser Gateway". Retrieved 4 April 2017.
- Donnum, Jonathan L. & Salazar-Bravo, Jorge. 2014. "Molecular systematics, taxonomy and biogeography of the genus Cavia (Rodentia: Caviidae)"; Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research 48(4): 376-388.
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