The guinea pig or domestic guinea pig, also known as the cavy or domestic cavy, is a species of rodent belonging to the genus Cavia in the family Caviidae. Breeders tend to use the word cavy to describe the animal, while in scientific and laboratory contexts, it is far more commonly referred to by the colloquial name guinea pig. Despite their common name, guinea pigs are not native to Guinea, nor are they closely related biologically to pigs, and the origin of the name is still unclear. They originated in the Andes of South America. Studies based on biochemistry and hybridization suggest they are domesticated animals that do not exist naturally in the wild, descendants of a closely related cavy species such as C. tschudii. They were originally domesticated as livestock for a source of meat, and are still consumed in some parts of the world.