Chinchilla Facts

Chinchilla Facts
Chinchilla is a cute little creature that belongs to rodents. There are two species of chinchilla: short-tailed and long-tailed chinchilla. Chinchilla can be found in South America. This animal is adapted to the life in mountains and rocky habitats, at altitudes above 12 000 feet. Chinchillas inhabit Andes. They are named after American Indian tribe called "Chincha" which used chinchilla's fur in the past to produce clothes. Chinchillas were hunted nearly to extinction in the previous century because of its dense and soft fur. They are still listed as critically endangered species.
Interesting Chinchilla Facts:
Chinchilla can reach 10 to 14 inches in length. Tail is usually 5 to 6 inches long. On average, chinchilla has between 2 and 3 pounds of weight.
Chinchilla is characterized by large, round ears, bushy tail and very soft, thick fur.
Chinchilla has the thickest fur of all land animals with 50 hairs growing from a single follicle. One square cm of chinchillas skin contains 20 000 hairs.
Not a single parasite can survive in the fur of chinchilla because of its density. Even fleas will die out of suffocation inside the fur.
Color of the fur can be white, grey, black, beige or silver. Chinchilla occasionally needs to remove oil and moist from the fur by rolling in the volcanic ash or in the dust.
Just like in other rodents, chinchilla's teeth grow continuously. Regular chewing of twigs and sticks leads to wearing of teeth.
Chinchilla eats different types of grass and shrubs. While eating, chinchilla sits on its rear feet and hold the food with its front feet.
Chinchilla is nocturnal animal, active from the dusk to the dawn. Night decreases visibility and provides protection against predators.
Main predators of chinchillas are snakes, canines, felines, skunks and birds of prey.
Chinchilla has unique mechanism used to escape from the predators. When caught, chinchilla can release a part of its fur to escape from the claws of predators. Missing fur will re-grow after some time. This technique is known as "fur slip".
Chinchillas are excellent jumpers. They are able to jump 5 to 6 feet from the ground.
Chinchillas are very social animals. They live in groups of around 100 members. They are also very vocal animals which produce barking, grunting, squealing and chirping sounds in communication.
Chinchillas are taking rest during the day, usually hidden in the crevices and tiny holes in the rocks. They can sleep in the upright position.
Chinchillas do not have specific mating season, they are able to mate throughout the whole year. Pregnancy in females lasts longer than in other rodents: 111 days. Babies are fully developed at birth. Young chinchillas are ready to mate 4 months after birth.
Chinchilla can survive between 10 and 14 years in the wild and between 15 and 20 in the captivity.

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