Description of the Chinchilla Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Scientific classificationAnimalia Phylum: Chordata Chordata Class: Mammalia Mammalia Order: Rodentia Rodentia Family: Chinchillidae Chinchillidae Genus: Chinchilla Shape: Size of small Rabiat Length: Body 22.5 - 38 cm Tail 7.5 - 15 cm Height: 12 inches Weight: 1.3-4 pounds Colors and Markings: White, Black, Beige, Tan, Brown, Pink White, Violet, Sapphire, and Ebony
Habitat Part of World: Chinchillas come from the Andes Mountains of South America Environment: Cold areas prefer under 75°F, prefer places that are quiet and peaceful
Diet Meat: Chinchillas do not eat meat Plant: Chinchillas often eat plants that belong to the cactus family in the wild but when in captivity or kept as pets they are usually feed hay Fruits: Chinchillas can only eat fruits every so often or they can get diseases Chinchillas are omnivores
Family Life Offspring Number of: 2-3 born each litter Gestation: From 109 to 120 days When Born: Usually in winter or early spring but doesn't have to be born at a certain time Care of: Chinchillas are taken care of by the mother. After an hour or so the chinchilla will no longer need the mother as it will start to play around
Social Behavior Chinchillas are very social and usually stay in packs. Females will be rough with other females and also some males as well. The chinchillas packs consist from within 4 - 300 pups in the wild
Characteristics Temperament: A chinchilla can be rough and mean until trusted Habitats and Unique Behavior: When frightened chinchillas will shed hair. Chinchillas communicate with a variety of chirps, squeaks, and barks.
Characteristics cont. Defenses: Includes spraying urine and releasing hair so predators can not grip the chinchilla. Acquiring Food: Chinchillas will find food by sniffing out plants, in wild chinchillas will search food in colonies. Life Span: 10-15 years
History Chinchillas were first found in the 1600's by Spanish conquistadors. They were then hunted for their fur. They were almost became extinct due to the hunting for fur. In 1923 M. F. Chapman rediscovered the chinchillas and brought 12 back with him to the United States even though laws forbid the capturing of chinchillas due to close extinction.
Present Status Very common as pets. Chinchillas are still raised and killed for the fur industry. Chinchillas still live in the wild and are endangered.
Timeline Year Event 1524 The Spaniards discover the Chinchilla. 1591 The first written record of Chinchillas appears. 1829 The first "Lanigera" comes to London Zoo, the first held in captivity worldwide 1865 "Lanigera" shown for the first time at Hamburg Zoo in Germany 1923 With 12 animals M. F. Chapman begins his Chinchilla Ranching. 1936 Establishment of the first Chinchilla organization NCBA 1949 Establishment of the Chinchilla Association of America (C.A.A.) 2004 Fur farming made illegal in the UK following new legislation
Relationship to Humans Chinchillas are kept as pets and are sold for fur to be made into coats, hats, etc.
Sources www.wikipedia.com www.exoticpets.about.com www.chinnitude. com www.chinchillalearningzone.com www.arkive.com
Additional information and videos Long-tailed Chinchilla Chinchilla Giving Birth Chinchilla Dust Bathing