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Ranking in guinea pig groups: Interesting facts


The ranking in a group of guinea pigs is important for the social and peaceful coexistence of these animals. You can find out how this relates to the hierarchy in this article. In a guinea pig group, an animal is in charge and ensures a harmonious coexistence - Shutterstock / Soultkd

Guinea pigs are known to live extremely peacefully even in a very large group. This also fascinates most owners of these adorable pets. They owe the harmony among the animals to a fixed hierarchy. The highest-ranking animal always ensures calm and order in the group and the lower-ranking members are guided by it. In the wild, a goat lives with up to three female animals and their offspring in harems. For this reason, a group with one neuter and several females is usually recommended for keeping pets.

Ranking in guinea pigs

In a group with several male and female guinea pigs, an alpha male usually sets the tone. The females then subordinate themselves to the male animals, while there can sometimes be fights between the goats. As a rule, however, all Meeris leave their "boss" to take the lead and fit in easily for a harmonious coexistence. It is interesting that even among the females there is a separate ranking. This is mostly peaceful, in some associations even without biting.

The harem leader regularly makes his position clear by climbing other group members and always fulfills his duties. For example, he ensures calm and quickly comes to a standstill in the event of disputes between the individual group members to clarify the fronts in his own way. He nudges the brawlers, shows his teeth or gives a warning sound. In return, the "guinea pig" enjoys its advantages and often has the right to feed or shelter.

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Females can also take on the leading role

However, the fact that the leading position is taken over by a male is not set in stone. A female can also be a leader in a group. Such dominant female guinea pigs are then respected by lower-ranking goats. If only female animals live together in a group, a piggy lady among them must inevitably set the tone.

In this case there is also a fixed hierarchy, but it is much more relaxed compared to mixed groups. Clashes or rank fights occur much less often or not at all. Surprisingly, however, the dominant female reminds of an alpha male in her leading position. She also climbs into the submissive group members in order to maintain their reputation.