One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A major division of the rodents that includes the guinea pigs, porcupines, coypu, and their relatives. They occur chiefly in South America.
- ‘The Guinea Pig, Cavia porcellus, is a mammal of the order Rodentia, sub-order Hystricomorpha and family Caviidae.’
- ‘The Old World members of this group are sometimes placed in a separate group called the porcupine-like rodents (Hystricomorpha).’
Modern Latin (plural), from Latin hystrix, hystric- ‘porcupine’ (from Greek hustrix) + morphē ‘form’.
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