Rock Cavy

Rock Cavy


Rock cavies live in the arid, north-eastern countryside of Brazil, and have adapted to living in rocky outcrops called lajeiros.


Rocky outcrops in thorn scrub.


Cavies are relatives of the domestic Guinea pig. They have heavily padded feet, are quite agile, and are exceptional climbers. Coat is gray, grizzled with white and black. Throat is white and the belly is yellowish-white. The rump and backs of thighs are reddish. There is no tail and both sexes look similar.

Rock Cavy

Cavies are very vocal, making a variety of chirps, squeaks, burbles and squeals. Sometimes, a piercing alarm whistle is emitted when excited. Cavies are, for the most part, very docile and only get aggressive with younger cavies. They are nocturnal animals that come out at night. When seen during the day they are usually dashing to safety, hiding in rock crevices.


Cavies become sexually mature between 1 and 3 months of age. The gestation period for cavies is fairly long for rodents, lasting from 50 - 60 days. Litter sizes average 2 - 3 offspring. The male usually does not help rear the young.

Interesting Facts:

They have nails growing out of their skin with a single grooming claw on the inside hind toes.

Rock Cavy
Rock Cavy
Class: mammals
Genus: Kerodon
Species: rupestris
Length: 8.7 inches
Weight: 10-11ounces
Average Lifespan: 4
Wild Diet: Herbs, grasses, fruit, roots, seeds and leaves
Predators: Most commonly large birds of prey.
USFWS Status: Not Listed
CITES Status: Not Listed
Where at the Zoo? Small Animal Building: Temperate Zone

Learn more about mammals or animals from South America!
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