Originally Posted by TheDustyZebra
But one little thing sticks in my mind long after the rest of that book has been lost to my terrible memory -- a character had a guinea pig that had babies, and they were described as ten or twelve little hairless things with their eyes stuck shut. I happen to know that guinea pigs have only a couple of babies, furry ones, with their eyes open, who start out eating solid food. A tiny bit of research would have uncovered that detail. And that's the thing I remember about that book, which is probably not what the author had in mind.
Odd you say that, because my guinea pigs had larger litters, I think on average about four or five. So I googled it. Turns out they usually have between one and six, the average being three, but can have more. The litter size can increase in subsequent pregnancies. Wikipedia cites the Guinness BoWR that there have been litters as large as seventeen pups.
So if she made no claim on whether the size was usual, perhaps you can forgive her that bit. As for the other bit, it is highly unusual in rodents for them to be born open-eyed and furry, so she could argue reasonable assumption, but it really is info she could have picked up at any pet shop or care book.