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Caviidae (order Rodentia, suborder Hystricomorpha) A family of ground-dwelling rodents in which the body is sturdy and there are four digits on the fore limbs and three on the hind limbs. The tail is vestigial. The cheek teeth are hypsodont. The Caviidae are distributed widely in S. America. There are 12 species in five genera, including Cavia (guinea-pigs) and Dolichotis (Patagonian hares).