A less furry type of guinea pig is causing a stir at a Sussex pet shop.

The family run South Downs Nurseries in Hassocks has reported increasing interest in the hairless type of guinea pig known as a skinny pig, brought into the centre after Christmas.

General Manager Mark Hillyard said he believed the breed was proving popular because it is “so unusual and different from the normal guinea pig”.

He added: “They are creating an awful lot of interest as it’s not what people are used to seeing.”

According to Mark, children in particular are amazed when they see the unusual breed.

Whilst most guinea pigs originate from Peru, Mark said the skinny pigs in South Downs Nurseries originate from Canada.

He said: "Skinnies, as they’re known, can come in a variety of colours and patterns, such as Dutch, tortoiseshell, Himalayan and many others.

“While they typically have hair on their muzzles, feet, and legs, they are hairless over the remainder of their bodies.”

The skinny pig is not the only unusual creature at South Downs, which will soon also have albino hedgehogs in the pets and aquatics centre.