Are Guinea Pigs Nocturnal?

cavia-porcellusAre guinea pigs nocturnal animals? For this question, to put it simply the answer is no. But hopefully answer like this won’t lead you to think that they are diurnal. In other words, they are not diurnal creatures either. So, is there a right word used to describe the activity and habit that is between diurnal and nocturnal? Yes, this technical term is “crepuscular.”

The word crepuscular comes from crepusculum, which is a Latin word can be translated literally into “twilight” in English. Now it is used to refer to the group of animals that are active mainly at dawn and dusk. No doubt the cavy is one of them since they tend to have the highest activity level at the mentioned periods of time.

One intriguing explanation for that is they choose this time period for the purpose of reducing their exposure to predators. But what needs to be stressed is that their activity level is only slightly increased at dawn and dusk, and their activity and sleep tend to occur after each other during the day and night.

Admittedly, the above-mentioned conclusion is drawn based on the natural behavior of wild Cavia porcellus. Does this rule make sense to those pet guinea pigs too? Actually, things have changed due to so many years of captivity, which force these creatures to get used to the routines and habits of humans. That’s to say, these house pets are prone to synchronize with their owners due to the fixed sleep and feeding schedules.

For the same reason, crepuscular animals like the cavy have quite a bit more activity during a night of the full moon. Apparently this is mostly because of the visual stimulation. This phenomenon has been discovered and confirmed by a lot of pet owners.

If you are curious about how your pet acts during in the middle of the night, you can get up during the night to watch them from a distance. Then you can know more about your pet and take good care of it according to what you’ve found.

By the way, it is important to note that guinea pigs and rats are not the same thing although they are both rodents. So, the best food for rats doesn’t necessarily mean that it also makes sense to other rodents in the same family.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *