Who's chinchilla: it looks like and what is this unusual animal as a pet?

Where I live chinchilla, which are family, whether the relationship with a rat or a squirrel, and how many years can live in captivity? Such questions are often of interest to fans of these funny little rodents.

Who is chinchilla?

Chinchillas are cute, funny and cute animals that many people keep as Pets.

Because of the thick iridescent fur furry animals also became the object of attention of fashionistas who want to flaunt the luxurious chinchilla fur coat.Animals live in groups, which number several dozen individuals. To hide from enemies and protect their offspring, rodents live in burrows or deep rock crevices.

Chinchilla: classification

Chinchilla is a genus of herbivorous mammals are rodents belonging to the family of chinchilla.

According to scientific classification chinchillas include:

  • to the animal Kingdom;
  • the type of chord;
  • to the class of mammals;
  • the placental infraclass;
  • to the rodent;
  • to the suborder with;
  • to the superfamily sensillary;
  • to the family of chinchilla;
  • the genus chinchilla.

The origin story of chinchillas

Where you came from and from which animals originate chinchilla, is not known. During the excavations in the Andes, archaeologists found the fossilized remains of prehistoric animals according to the type of genetic structure reminiscent of modern chinchillas, however, who had, much larger sizes. According to rough estimates of the ancient animal, which belonged to the bone, lived about forty thousand years ago, so the history of these furry rodents totals not one Millennium.

The first literary mention of the chinchillas dates back to the fifties of the sixteenth century. Small animals were mentioned by the Spanish historian Pedro de Cieza, sailed to South America along with the conquerors conquistadors. The Spaniard described the fluffy tailed animals, like rabbits from the skins which the locals produced outerwear in his book "Chronicle of Peru", dedicated to the history and way of life of the Peruvian Incas.

But the Incas were not the first Indians to call attention to the luxurious fur of chinchillas. When Pedro de Cieza began to question the indigenous inhabitants of Peru about these animals, it was found that the Incas began production of chinchilla pelts after he won the territory of another Indian tribe, which bore the name Chyna. There is a theory that the furry rodents came to be called chinchillas, thanks to the conformable name with the tribe Chincha engaged in their craft and trade in skins.

Even in ancient times the Incas portrayed chinchillas

Remarkably, the Incas themselves were greatly valued fur of rodents, therefore, strictly controlled the production of their skins, not to cause significant damage to their population. But at the end of the fifteenth century, after the conquest of the Incas by the Spaniards, the conquerors began a massive hunt for small animals that almost led to their complete destruction.

After sending the first batches of chinchilla pelts in Europe, the demand for them has increased to unimaginable proportions. By the end of the eighteenth century, greedy hunters killed the animals for the greater part of the territories to their natural habitat. Once million-strong population of chinchillas was on the verge of extinction, and in the highlands of Peru, these rodents have completely destroyed.

Important: concerned about the situation and wanting to stop the extermination of animals, the governments of Chile, Argentina and Bolivia imposed a ban on production and export of chinchillas, and for poaching imposed severe punishment.

Types and varieties of chinchillas

Before the beginning of the nineteenth century in nature has classified three types of these rodents:

  • Royal chinchilla;
  • ordinary or small long-tailed chinchilla;
  • large short-tailed chinchilla.

Common long-tailed chinchilla, which is also called coastal, inhabits the high mountains of the Chilean Andes. Are small animals with a rounded compact body length not exceeding thirty centimeters, weighing from five hundred to eight hundred grams. In rodents long (fourteen-seventeen inches) fluffy tail, large ears and thick fur that protects them from the cold. It long-tailed chinchillas are often kept as Pets.

In the wild chinchillas are hiding in the crevices of rocks

Large short-tailed chinchilla, also known as Peruvian or Bolivian, in the wild are extremely rare and are considered endangered species. The birthplace of chinchillas of the species – the rocky mountain regions of Argentina and Bolivia. From large long-tailed relatives of the chinchillas differ in larger sizes (the length of their body thirty to forty centimeters) and short, covered with rigid hairs of the tail. Because of the luxurious thick fur was almost completely wiped out, so at the moment, are protected by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and hunting them is forbidden.

View Royal chinchillas, unfortunately, was completely destroyed by hunters. Leaving only the effigy of the Royal chinchillas, to see which you can visit the Museum of "Natural history" in Germany. These animals were the largest in the family of the chinchillas, with small rounded ears and a rather short (up to eight centimeters) tail.

By crossing the short-tailed and long-tailed chinchillas there are several varieties of these rodents, which have a characteristic external features inherent in these two species, but differing in many different coloration.

Today displays the many colors of chinchillas

Chinchilla as a pet: the history of their domestication

After a number of chinchillas, due to the ongoing hunt, greatly reduced, was undertaken several attempts to domesticate these animals. But because of the latent way of life of the animals, the people were not about them the slightest representation. Nobody knew, in what conditions they must, as they are properly fed, therefore, all attempts at breeding them in captivity were unsuccessful.

Only in the early nineteenth century the dream of many people about the chinchilla farm was able to bring to a man named Mathias Chapman. Being in the specialty mining engineer, Chapman worked at the Chilean mine, closely communicating with the indigenous population. And when he was approached by a local resident offering to sell a strange animal, an interested engineer bought from an Indian furry rodent.

In nature, chinchillas live in deep burrows in the rocks

Watching his new pet, Mathias began to think about how to smuggle a few of these animals their US and come to grips with their breeding. He hired a few Indians, as guides and hunters chinchillas, the engineer went up to the mountain expedition. Catching eleven adults, three of whom were females, Chapman returned with them to America. During the trip, one female even gave birth to two kids, however only one survived.

These twelve chinchillas Chapman became the first rodents that brought the offspring in captivity, giving rise to the domestication of animals. Fifty years in the United States and neighboring Canada existed for several thousand nurseries and chinchilla farms. Although for the most part, chinchillas are bred for their valuable fur, many breeders started to sell these animals as Pets. In any case, it was considered a lucrative business, as the value of one rodent was, on average, one hundred to one hundred and fifty dollars.

Now these rodents are bred in Europe, getting a new unusual colors of chinchillas as a result of breeding work.

Looks like a chinchilla: description of appearance

Chinchilla, the owner of the soft fur

At first glance it may seem that an adult chinchilla is similar to a mouse or rat, only large sizes. But at a closer look with these beautiful fluffy animals, many people are convinced that their first opinion was erroneous. Because chinchillas have a unique appearance and unique charm that distinguishes them from all other household pests:

  • in rodents a small rounded body. The weight of the animals varies within a five-hundred-eight grams. Females are slightly larger and heavier than males;
  • front legs are short and poorly developed, but the hind legs are long, strong and muscular, making furry animals can jump up to two meters. On their hind legs, four fingers, front paws is equipped with five flexible fingers, allowing the chinchilla firmly grab and hold prey;
  • the tail of animal is long, covered with dense harsh coat;
  • the head has a round shape, the neck is short and strong. Ears long, with rounded tips. The eyes of animals round and expressive, dark shade. Moustache long and slender;
  • strong teeth of rodents grow throughout their life. Adults twenty teeth – four long incisors and sixteen indigenous small and newborn babies – eight indigenous and four incisors. Another interesting fact: animals are born with white teeth, and as they grow older their teeth become a rich orange color;
  • fur from animals is soft, thick, dense and velvety, thanks to what chinchillas look like plush toys;
  • regarding the color, the standard color of fur of wild chinchillas – gray-blue. But in the course of the breeding work were bred rodents with black, white, beige, purple and brown color of the fur.

Especially touching and touching newborn baby furry animals. Babies are born covered with soft delicate fur and with open, wide-open eyes, so little shaded from the first minutes of life ready to explore the world.

Newborn baby chinchilleros

The closest relatives of the chinchilla

Looking at the rounded muzzle, long ears and bushy tail animals, many people are wondering – who is this chinchilla, rabbit or squirrel? But in addition to external similarities, the guests from South America, these animals have nothing in common.

It's hard to believe, but the closest relative of the furry chinchilla is the animal with the long and sharp thorns among mammals – the porcupine.

And ate to talk about the genetic structure and similarity of lifestyle, the close relatives of the chinchillas is viscacha, rodents the size of a rabbit also lives in the mountain peaks of the Andes.


Chinchilla as pet: care and necessary conditions of

Decided to get a chinchilla? These animals are hardy and undemanding, but for a comfortable stay pet should be to create optimal conditions and to provide him with the necessary care:

  • selection of cages for furry pet is one of the most important stages. Rodent housing should be spacious and roomy with multiple shelves and made of durable safe material;
  • the cell must be equipped with a feeder, a drinking bottle and a house. If the size of the cells, it is possible to order additional accessories (hammock, ladders, tunnels and toys);
  • another important point is the feeding of chinchillas. They eat primarily grasses and hay, so you should pick up for pet quality grain or pellets;
  • the Indians believed that the animal chinchilla doesn't drink water, but it is not. Although rodents drink a little in their cage should always be fresh clean water;
  • once or twice a week furry rodents throwing sand baths to fur animal looked attractive and well maintained.

Important: unlike other Pets rodents chinchillas can live a long time. With proper care, a pet can live fifteen to twenty years.

Lifestyle chinchillas

In the wild these rodents are nocturnal and in-home pet chinchilla also sleep during the day, showing activity only in the dark.

And if you have a furry pet, get ready because you will have to adjust to this night schedule.

Some owners are trying to teach the animal to sleep through the night and awake during the day, but experts do not recommend to do it. If you do not give the chinchilla a day to relax and sleep, the pet will become nervous and irritable, which can lead to stress and psychological disorders.

Do chinchillas intelligence?

Furry rodents can confidently be called smart and clever. A chinchilla skillfully manipulated by the owners and asking them a treat or another walk through the apartment.

Cunning Pets enjoy the fact that the owner can't resist a resentful expression on their faces and hurry to please pet a delicious treat or to open the cage. Knowing this weakness of the owner, a chinchilla send yourself unhappy and distressed appearance, and more even savvy enough fingers over the bars of the cage, begging to be released into the wild.

Character traits and behavior

Chinchillas very rarely show aggression

Each chinchilla has its own personality and temperament and the behavior of the two animals, even from the same litter can differ dramatically.

Like people, chinchillas for temperament is divided into four types.


It's nimble, agile and active animals. Day animals sleep, but they have a very light sleep and rodent wakes up from the slightest noise. In the waking hours pet curious, explores environment and all of interest. Pets of this type are very shy, and if the animal is frightened, he will panic to rush across the cage, sweeping away everything in its path.


Chinchilla belonging to this type are also active and curious, but not fearful and over react to loud sounds and noises. Rodents do not like to sit in one place and will be happy to stroll around the apartment, if allowed by the owner.


Rodents belonging to the phlegmatic, calm and balanced. The whole day they spend in his house, preferring active games sweet dream. Even in the waking hours phlegmatic Pets move slowly and lazily, pausing for a long time in one place, looking around with attentive eyes.


This is the most calm and quiet animals. They are so timid that a loud sound can hide in the farthest corner of the cage and half a day out not to go. Rodents melancholic undesirable to release to walk around the house, as the animal will run, and will find a dark and silent gap, where to get it will be very difficult.

It is easiest to tame chinchillas-sanguine. Animals of this type are more trusting and have excellent memory. Phlegmatic animals can also become a manual and willing to sit on the hands of the owner, although their domestication will take a long time. But the animals related to the type of the choleric and melancholic to tame quite difficult, as they are wary of people, and all the time distracted by extraneous sounds.

Important note: females are smarter than males, it is much easier tamed and quickly get used to the owner.

Features of collective and solitary confinement, animals

In the family of chinchillas is dominated by the female

Chinchilla great feel alone and unable to live my life without a pair.

But, if you decide to have a few furry Pets, follow these rules:

  1. For breeding it is advisable to buy already formed pair.
  2. Can coexist in the same cage, the female with several males.
  3. Do not plan to breed these rodents? Then get two males, as boys will get along well with each other.
  4. Two females will never get along in one cage and fights between females can not be avoided, so never Saivite together the two girls.


Mature and ready to procreate chinchilla become at the age of eight months.

The female bears cubs within one hundred-a hundred and ten days. Given this long gestation, the chinchilla is not allowed to give birth twice a year, so her body has time to recover.

Most often in rodents born two children, rarely in a litter may be three to four cubs. Female feeding newborn babies breast milk. If the mother is insufficient milk, the calves are transferred to the artificial mixture. To the full adult diet toddler taught by the they reach two months of age.

In conclusion, we can say that it is extremely sweet, timid and vulnerable creatures. Therefore, knowing all about the chinchillas, one can only wonder how it is possible for coats or gloves to destroy these amazing and wonderful animals.

Video: who are the chinchilla

Who's chinchilla: it looks like and what is this unusual animal as a pet?
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