Why Do Guinea Pigs Have No Tail? Let’s Find Out

Usually, all rodents have tails, but guinea pigs don’t, you must be wondering why that is.

Why do guinea pigs have no tails?

Guinea pigs don’t have tails because they have no reason to have them. Guinea pigs used to have tails, but over time they lost them, which is good for them so that they are not easy prey for predators.

They still have tailbones today, but they are not visible on the outside of their body.

In today’s article, you will find out why guinea pigs do not have tails, whether they used to have tails, and similar questions related to the topic.

Why do guinea pigs have no tails?

Science has some theories as to why guinea pigs don’t have tails, although the exact reason is not known. Guinea pigs don’t need tails, maybe that is the biggest reason why they don’t have tails on their bodies.

However, there are certain explanations why guinea pigs do not have tails, and that is why you will learn more about them in the next text.

Guinea pigs do not need tails

Guinea pigs do not need tails like other animals do. For example, rats use their tails when they want to cool down, that is when they are overheated.

While guinea pigs do not need cooling because they have excellent regulation of their body temperature.

The guinea pig’s body evolved over time to adapt to the environment they lived in without using tails to cool their bodies.

Another reason why guinea pigs don’t need tails is that they usually find their food in the wild down on the ground since they eat plant foods.

While rats on the other hand sometimes need to climb to higher places to find insects and other food, they use their tails to help them climb and keep their balance.

The tails threatened the lives of the guinea pigs

Guinea pigs used to have tails, but because of that, they were often in danger for their lives.

Probably the tails of guinea pigs helped their predators catch them more easily, so over time they slowly lost their tails.

Tails help animals climb certain places more easily, but in the case of guinea pigs, it is unnecessary due to their lifestyle.

Guinea pigs do not have tails due to a mutation

Over time, guinea pigs may have had a mutation that caused them to gradually lose their tails.

Sometimes mutations affect the very development of the body and its characteristics.

Since the mutation in the guinea pigs had a positive effect, that is, the disappearance of the tail improved their life and safety, the disappearance of the tail is completely logical.why do guinea pigs have no tails

Due to the choice of a partner, the guinea pigs lost their tails

This theory declares that female guinea pigs preferred male guinea pigs that had shorter tails.

Perhaps the length of the tail contributed to the behavior of male guinea pigs and their aggressiveness when mating with females.

Another explanation is that male guinea pigs may have been healthier than those with longer tails, which is why females chose them more for mating.

All these reasons are sufficient to cause the gradual loss of the tail and evolution into tailless guinea pigs.

Do other types of guinea pigs have tails?

As we said guinea pigs do not have tails because they have evolved over the years and lost their tails.

Guinea pigs belong to the genus of the family Caviidae which do not have a tail, but other species of guinea pigs also do not have a tail.

Here are some other types of guinea pigs that don’t have tails:

  • Montane guinea pig
  • Brazilian guinea pig
  • Greater guinea pig
  • Peruvian guinea pig
  • Teddy guinea pig
  • Texel guinea pig
  • Abyssinian guinea pig
  • American Guinea Pig
  • Rex guinea pig
  • Skinny pig
  • Silkie guinea pig
  • English Crested Guinea Pig

Therefore, it can be concluded that guinea pigs, regardless of which species they belong to, have all lost their tails.

Do guinea pigs have tailbones?

Guinea pigs have tailbones even though they don’t have tails. There are 258 bones in the skeleton of guinea pigs, and 7 of them are tailbones.

However, due to the fact that over time guinea pigs have evolved and changed their physical appearance, these 7 tailbones do not appear and we cannot see them externally.

But of course, the fact that they have 7 tailbones under the hip bones, is enough proof that in the past they had a tail.

Why do some guinea pigs appear to have tails?

It sometimes happens that some guinea pigs look like they have a tail, but this is mostly due to their fur.

For example, Peruvian guinea pigs look like they have a tail because of the way the fur grows on the back of their body.

To prevent Peruvian guinea pigs from looking like they have a tail, you should brush their fur more often.

However, we must mention that although guinea pigs do not have a tail, very rarely it can still happen that one has a tail, but only because of a deformity of their body.

Read more: Can Guinea Pigs Choke To Death? Let’s Discover

Is it true that if you pick a guinea pig up by its tail its eyes will fall out?

It is not true that if you pick up a guinea pig by its tail, its eyes will fall out.

Not true because guinea pigs don’t actually have tails.

They have tailbones, but due to the evolution of their body, they are not visible externally, and you cannot grab your guinea pig by the tail because it is missing.

Read more: Why Do Guinea Pigs Fluff Up Their Fur? Let’s Find Out

How to care for tailbones in guinea pigs?

In the area of the tail, i.e. the part where the tailbones are located, you can make sure that it is always properly cared for.

Regular brushing of the back of a guinea pig’s body is necessary to keep the guinea pig looking awesome.

Regular brushing will help you always notice in time if there is an appearance of ticks or mites on their fur, in which case you will need to consult a veterinarian immediately.why do guinea pigs have no tails


Are guinea pigs basically rats?

Guinea pigs are rodents, but they are more closely related to chinchillas than to mice or rats. Guinea pigs come from the Andes, which are a mountainous part of South America, where they still live today.

Do guinea pigs need baths?

Guinea pigs do not need bathing because they clean themselves. They can very rarely get so dirty that they need a bath, this can happen two to three times a year when you have to bathe them.

Are guinea pigs half pig?

Guinea pigs are not pigs, and they do not come from Guinea. Guinea pigs, which are also called cavies because of their scientific name, are rodents belonging to the family Cavidae and the genus Cavia.

Do guinea pigs need vaccines?

Guinea pigs do not need regular vaccinations, unlike other animals such as dogs. But it is necessary to regularly take them to a vet to check their health at least once a year.


Guinea pigs do not have tails, although they did in the past.

They had a tail, but over time they evolved and lost it, probably because they didn’t need it, or because it threatened their safety.

Guinea pigs don’t need tails because they don’t suit their lifestyle. Guinea pigs still have 7 tailbones on the back of their bodies, but they are not visible from the outside.

In the end, guinea pigs do well without a tail, so they don’t need one.

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