Hamster and guinea pig look similar at first sight. They both belong to the order Rodentia. They are both rodents from the same order but different families.
So, what is the difference between a hamster and a guinea pig? A hamster is small in body size while a guinea pig is large in body size.
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Comparison Table (Hamster vs Guinea Pig)
|Meaning||Refers to a short-tailed rodent of Europe and Asia.||Refers to a domesticated animal that is best known to be related to the cavies or the South American rodents.|
|Size||They are smaller in body size; they measure between 5-6 inches.||They are larger in body size; they measure about 8-20 inches.|
|Lifespan||They live between 2-3 years.||They live between 5-7 years.|
|What they feed on||They are omnivores; they feed on both meat and plants.||They are herbivores; they feed on plants alone.|
|Appearance of offspring||Their offspring are born without sight and hair and the litter can be made up of 20 pups.||They birth to pups that have hair, a full set of teeth, eyes wide open, ability to run around and the litter can be made up of 2-4 pups.|
|Social||They tend to be aggressive with others especially when it comes to food.||They interact more with other animals and human beings.|
|Ability to climb||They love to climb and often scale up the bars in their cage.||They are not good climbers; they tend to jump.|
|Activity||They are active during the night.||Active during the day.|
|Ability to carry food around them||They carry food around with them.||They do not have the ability to carry food around with them.|
|Species||They have 25 species which include The Golden Hamster.||Have one species.|
|Sounds produced||Their sound is not that loud as compared to guinea pigs.||They are noisy because of their loud shrieks, screams, and other squeaky sounds.|
What is a Hamster?
A hamster is a short-tailed rodent of Europe and Asia. The common one is The Golden Hamster because it looks attractive as a pet. They are mainly active at night. They live between 2-3 years. Their offspring are born without hair and sight and a litter can comprise up to 20 pups. They nurse the offspring up to 3 weeks after their birth.
Hamsters are omnivores. They feed on both plants and meat. They obtain the chemical energy and nutrients from the insects. They carry the food back to their nests in large cheek pouches. They are not friendly to other animals. They only tend to be aggressive when there is food.
There are 25 species of hamsters. They produce sound but it is not as loud as the sound produced by a guinea pigs.
What is a Guinea Pig?
A guinea pig is a domesticated rodent that is best known to be related to cavies or the South American rodents. They have plumb bodies with extremely very short legs. They are known to be rodents without tails.
They live long. Their lifespan ranges from 5-7 years. They give to offspring that have hair, a full set of teeth, eyes wide open, and the ability to run around. Their litter is not as big as for hamsters. It is only made of 2-4 pups.
Guinea pigs are herbivores. They only feed on plants. They are active during the day for them to keep away from the predators and also collect their food feed on what they need as they do not carry around themselves with food to their nests.
Main Differences between Hamster and Guinea Pig
- Hamster is smaller in body size while guinea pig is large in body size.
- Hamster is aggressive when there is food only while guinea pig is friendly as it socializes with other animals and even human beings.
- Hamsters have 25 species while guinea pig has only one species.
- Hamsters carry food around with them while guinea pigs do not have the ability to carry food around with them.
- Hamsters are nocturnal while guinea pigs are active during the day.
- Hamsters give birth to offspring that are not fully developed; they do not have sight and hair while guinea pig gives birth to offspring that are fully developed; they have hair, wide-open eyes and are able to run around.
- Hamsters give birth to many offspring while guinea pigs give birth to few offspring.
Similarities between Hamster and Guinea Pig
- They both belong to the same order Rodentia.
- They both have masticating teeth that are piercingly sharp and always developing.
- Both are furry.
- Both have little round eyes on the side of their heads.
- Both have four legs
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Hamster and guinea pig both belong to the same order Rodentia. Most people confuse the two but they are completely different. Although they have similar physical characteristics, they are just different. The main features that make the hamster and guinea pig different are; size, species, what they feed on, offspring, lifespan, and the sounds they produce.
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