The chinchilla looks very cute and funny. The chinchilla has a large head, short neck, and round body. It has large ears, long whiskers, and a short tail. The chinchilla looks like a small rodent. The chinchilla measures 25 to 35 cm in length, with females being larger than males. The rodent weighs 500-700 grams.
The chinchilla looks fluffy, as if made of plush. It has soft, thick and beautiful fur. The chinchilla looks inconspicuous due to its gray-blue color and only on the abdomen its fur has a light gray tint. Modern colors of chinchillas bred in captivity are varied and have many variations.
The description of the chinchilla includes many unusual facts about these rodents. For example, their ears have special membranes, with which the animals close their ears during sand baths, so that the sand does not get inside. Chinchilla fur is very dense, because up to 80 hairs grow from each hair bulb.
Due to the developed cerebellum, the chinchilla animal has good coordination and is adapted to a nocturnal life. Its hind legs are longer than its front ones, which allows the animal to jump as high as 2 meters. Chinchillas make many interesting sounds, they can quack, chirp, growl, squeak and click their teeth.
Where and how long do chinchillas live?
Chinchillas live about 20 years. The homeland of these animals is South America. Under natural conditions, the chinchilla lives in the Andes of southern Bolivia, northwestern Argentina and northern Chile. Chinchillas live in the mountains up to 5 km above sea level. In the natural environment, the chinchilla lives in rock crevices, under rocks or digging burrows.
The chinchilla animal is perfectly adapted to life in the mountains. Its skeleton structure allows the animal to get through even the narrowest spaces, and its mature cerebellum ensures its confident movement over rocks. Chinchillas live in colonies and are active at night. In nature, chinchillas feed on various herbaceous plants (grasses, beans, mosses, lichens, shrubs, cacti, tree bark) and insects.
The chinchilla animal is mostly monogamous. Chinchillas become capable of reproduction at the age of 7-8 months. Pregnancy duration is a little over 3 months. Usually 2-3 babies are born. The female is able to breed up to three times a year. Chinchilla cubs are born with open eyes, erupted teeth and covered with primary hair.
It is no secret that the animal chinchilla is a source of valuable fur. Chinchillas have been mined for their beautiful fur since the 19th century. It takes about a hundred pelts to make one coat, so chinchilla furs are rare and expensive. In 1928, a fur coat made from these rodents cost half a million gold marks. In 1992, the price of a chinchilla fur coat was $22,000. Currently, in South America the chinchilla beast is under protection. Now in many countries there are special farms where chinchillas are bred for fur.