Top 10 Interesting Chinchilla Facts
Knowing the interesting Chinchilla facts you may want to make chinchillas your next pet, in fact, they are not available for sale.
Although primarily bred for their fur, many people do not realize that Chinchillas make excellent pets.They can become very attached to their owners and are very loving. They are very easy to care for as they do not require any vaccinations, don’t get fleas or parasites and are very clean animals. Chinchilla fur is allergen free. You don’t even have to bathe them!
Chinchillas are small furry animals with a large head, round ears, a thick neck and a stout body. They look very similar to a small rabbit. They have small, short forearms and long hind limbs. Their coats can be brown, white, gray, black or even a bluish or violet color, Chinchillas have a short tail while others can have a long tail. Their eyes can be black or red.
Here are top 10 Chinchilla facts that you may not know yet.
10. Chinchillas originated in the South American countries of Chile and Peru
Chinchillas originated in South America. Wild Chinchillas can still be found in Chile in the Andes mountains at very high altitudes.
A Chinchilla’s body has uniquely adapted to the altitude as their blood carries extra red blood cells so they can carry more oxygen in their bloodstream. They preferred to live in the burrows and rock crevices of the mountain where predators could not reach them. Their feet have no hair on them andare thick and fleshy with the ability to grip hard surfaces to help them climb rocks. They prefer to live in large colonies to help guard against predators and for social companionship. They sleep during the day and explore for food at night when it is safer to find food to eat.
9. Chinchilla Facts to the rodent family
Although they look very similar to rabbits, Chinchillas are actually part of the rodent family. They are related to rats, mice, guinea pigs and porcupines. Like most other rodents, a Chinchilla’s teeth continue to grow throughout their lifetime. They can grow as much as 12 inches per year. In order to keep their teeth from growing out of their mouths and into the soft tissues of their mouths, they have to gnaw on objects like small wood branches and stones to grind their teeth down.
Like most other rodents, a Chinchilla’s teeth continue to grow throughout their lifetime. They can grow as much as 12 inches per year. In order to keep their teeth from growing out of their mouths and into the soft tissues of their mouths, they have to gnaw on objects like small wood branches and stones to grind their teeth down. Chinchilla’s teeth are not white like most animals, instead, they are yellow or a light orange color.
8. Chinchilla has poor eyesight
Chinchillas have large, black round eyes. However, their eyes are underdeveloped so they do not see images clearly. Chinchillas facts to be very sensitive to changes in light. Because of this, chinchillas have very long whiskers that are almost half as long as their bodies that they use to feel things around them. Chinchilla also
Chinchilla also have a keen sense of hearing and a very good memory, which helps them get around.
7. Chinchillas in Fact are omnivores
Chinchillas will eat both plants and meat, but prefer plants. While they have been known to eat insects and bird eggs, they like to eat grass, leaves, nuts, seeds and berries.
Chinchillas need to eat a lot of roughage so they should be fed good grass hay along with pellets made for Chinchillas. Domesticated Chinchillas will also eat dried fruits and nuts. Their digestive system is very sensitive.
Chinchillas can not tolerate carbohydrates or sugars as it acts like a poison in their systems and destroys the natural good bacteria in their stomach and intestines.
Similar to squirrels, they hold their food in their front paws and sit up on their haunches and nibble on it.
Chinchillas eat their own feces just the same as rabbits and guinea pigs do. This is a necessary part of their digestion process known as caecotrophy, which requires the Chinchilla to pass food through its digestive system and excrete it and then re-ingest it.
6. Chinchilla’s fur is known to be the softest of all animals
A Chinchilla’s fur is very thick so that they can live in cold climates. They have the greatest fur density of any animal, producing more than 50 or 60 hairs per follicle.
Chinchillas do not get parasites or fleas in their fur because of the fur’s density. All Chinchillas shed year-round, with increased fur loss during spring and summers. While chinchillas do not get in the water, they will bathe themselves by rolling in volcanic ash to remove oil, dirt or moisture from their fur.
Chinchillas secrete oil from their skin, as do many other animals including man, and this can make their coat appear “greasy” without regular dustbathing. It is imperative that chinchillas be allowed to dustbathe regularly, because besides keeping their fur from becoming greasy, matted and heavy, which significantly increases the risk of overheating, they are very clean animals and not being able to keep clean makes them susceptible to stress-related health and behavioral problems.
They have been hunted for their fur, which was used in coats for decades as their fur is soft and comes in a variety of colors such as beige, gray, black, white, violet and even sapphire.
Chinchilla fur is among the most expensive and rarest in the world. Domesticated Chinchillas are now raised on farms for use by the clothing industry. It is estimated that approximately 250,000 Chinchillas are raised and killed for on farms for their fur every year.
5. Wild Chinchillas are an endangered species
Today, not many Chinchilla survive in the wild. Hunting was the biggest threat to Chinchillas. Due to their dense fur, chinchillas became popular within the fur industry during the 1500’s. Spanish explorers invaded the native habitat of the chinchillas to capture as many as possible and make items of clothing for the rich people. In fact 2 million pelts were exported between 1895 and 1900. In 1905 alone,
In fact 2 million pelts were exported between 1895 and 1900. In 1905 alone, 217,836 pelts were imported into the United States from South America.
Because the Chinchilla was so prized for its soft and luxurious fur, they were hunted almost to extinction. It could take up to 200 Chinchilla pelts to make 1 fur coat, thus they were heavily hunted.
In the late 1900’s the South American governments of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile and Peru banned the hunting of wild Chinchillas. They have been listed as a critically endangered species since 2011.
There are only two species of Chinchilla that remain in the wild: the short-tailed Chinchilla and the long-tailed Chinchilla. Although they are a protected species and no longer hunted, Chinchillas have not repopulated.
Scientists believe that it has suffered from the destruction of its habitat and grazing grounds, and increased numbers of predators. South American does not have a significant amount of conservation programs.
Chinchillas also have a low ability to reproduction in significant numbers as females rarely have a litter larger than 4 babies.
4. Chinchillas are NOT completely nocturnal animals
Chinchillas are most active during the early nighttime and early morning hours when the temperature is coolest.
Their large round eyes allow them to see in just a small amount of light. They hunt for food during this time and then run and play in the early morning hours or at dusk. Since they do not like the heat, they do like to take long naps during the day in a cool, dry place. However, they will also go to sleep at night.
3. Chinchillas are preyed upon by many other animals
Chinchillas in fact are small, about the size of a squirrel, and weight less than 3 lbs.
Other than biting with their teeth or spraying their attacker with urine, they are not able to fight off attackers very well. Because of this, they have a developed a defense mechanism known a “fur slip”.
If their fur is grabbed by a predator, the Chinchilla will lose that patch of fur in a large clump and escape. Chinchillas react very quick on their feet and can jump as high as 6 feet to elude their attackers.
2. Chinchilla babies are born fully developed
While most Chinchillas can be mated, some guinea pig types cannot be mated to another in their types such as black velvet or brown velvet Chinchillas.
Chinchillas have the ability to birth babies after they are only 8 months old. They have a very long mating season, from November to May, and females can give birth 2 to 3 time a year and their litters typically consist of about 2 to 4 babies each time they give birth.
Females have a long pregnancy period, about 111 days, which allows the babies to fully develop in the womb. Chinchilla babies are born fully furred and with their eyes open and a full set of teeth.
1. Chinchillas can live up to 20 years
A Chinchillas’ lifespan is generally greater than most other mammals. In captivity, they will live between 15 to 20 years on average. While they are rather sensitive creatures, they are very active and generally healthy. The occurrence of infectious disease in Chinchillas is very low. Chinchillas are prone to dental problems such as calcium deficiency and malocclusion and need to keep their teeth trimmed either by gnawing or professionally.
Due to the density of their fur, they do not do well in hot temperatures and can get heat stroke in temperatures over 75°F because they do not have sweat glands.
In the wild, chinchillas have fallen prey to hunters and birds of prey as well as foxes and wild cats, which is why they are critically endangered.
In zoos and as pets, Chinchillas are protected from predators and can be provided with the love and care that they need to thrive. As some of the most social of creatures, they need the companionship of other Chinchillas and should not be raised in isolation.
While finding a Chinchilla in fact may not be easy,they make wonderful, soft, loving pets. Hope you enjoyed reading the interesting Chinchilla Facts. Please leave a comment or share this post to support us posting more articles going ahead.