The Cute Tiny Chinchilla: A Unique Pet

Chinchilla

Chinchilla is a tiny rodent, slightly larger and more robust than ground squirrels, native to the Andes Mountain region in South America. They belong to the family Chinchilildae, comprising one other species “viscachas” apart from Chinchilla. Chinchilla and Chinchilla’s rats are different species from different families, though they are related to each other. In this article, we will explore habitat, diet, care requirements, and other characteristics of Chinchilla, and why it makes great pets.

Chinchillas have been valued for extremely thick and soft fur.

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Cute Tiny Chinchilla

Chinchillas are small crepuscular rodents which means they emerge in the early morning and evening hours. They have the densest fur of all mammals that live on land, with around 20,000 hairs per square inch. The color of their fur varies from black, gray, and beige to white. 

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Chinchillas are named after the Chincha people of the Andes, who used to wear its velvet-like fur. 

They are native to the Andes Mountains in South America.

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Cute Tiny Chinchilla

Formerly, Chinchillas used to inhabit the coastal regions, hills, and mountains of Chile, Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina. Due to the overexploitation of their furs, their population became extinct in several parts such as Argentina, Peru, and Bolivia. Chinchillas live in burrows or crevices in their native habitats. 

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They have been seen living in colonies called “herds” at high elevations up to 14,000 feet. 

Diet habits of Chinchillas.

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Cute Tiny Chinchilla

They have been observed eating plant leaves, fruits, seeds, and small insects, in the wild. 

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Chinchillas are agile jumpers.

Chinchillas love to explore their surroundings, jump, climb, and play. They are agile and have strong hind legs, allowing them to jump up to six feet in the air. They also have a variety of defensive tactics, such as spraying urine, to protect themselves in the wild. 

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Skunks, Felines, Snakes, Canines, and Birds of prey are their most prominent predators in the wild.

Chinchillas had become rare after being hunted for their ultra-soft fur.

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Cute Tiny Chinchilla

They are currently listed as Endangered by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species due to a 90% of population loss over the last 15 years. They have been hunted by humans for their soft furs, used in the clothing and fashion industry. 

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Chinchillas are popular pets or considered pocket pets. 

When it comes to housing a Chinchilla, a spacious cage is recommended. They are sensitive to high temperatures and should be kept in a well-ventilated space and cool environment. They should be provided with a special diet including chinchilla pellets, fresh hay, and a few vegetables and fruits. Moreover, food and water should always be accessible to them. Chinchillas are very sensitive and get easily startled by loud noises, hence it’s necessary to prevent them from loud sounds and provide a hidden place so that they can sleep undisturbed. 

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Cute Tiny Chinchilla

Chinchillas require dust baths, which help them keep their fur clean and prevent matting. These baths are delightful to watch, as Chinchillas roll and flip around, covering their fur with the dust. 

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They are highly social animals and enjoy spending time with their human companions. They can form strong bonds with their owners. Chinchillas are delicate creatures, so it’s crucial to handle them with care and gentleness. 

The unique appearance, social nature, and soft fur of Chinchillas make them wonderful creatures of mother nature. If you’re looking for an adorable and fascinating small pet, a chinchilla might be the perfect choice for you. 

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