Five groups that classify all living things
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
A group of animals within a pylum
A group of animals within a class
A group of animals within an order
A group of animals within a family
The name of the animal in science
The animal group that the species belongs to
What kind of foods the animal eats
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
|25cm - 35cm (10in - 14in)|
The measurement of how heavy the animal is
|400g - 500g (14oz - 18oz)|
The fastest recorded speed of the animal
How long the animal lives for
|10 - 18 years|
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
|Beige, Brown, Grey|
The protective layer of the animal
The preferred food of this animal
The specific area where the animal lives
|Dry and mountainous regions|
|Average Litter Size:|
The average number of babies born at once
The food that the animal gains energy from
|Fruit, Nuts, Seeds|
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
|Owls, Fox, Cougars|
Characteristics unique to this animal
|Dense fur and long back legs|
Map of South America
ChinchillaChinchillas are medium sized rodents native to the Andes mountains in South America. Chinchillas are named after the tribe that hunted the chinchillas for their dense fur, the Chinchas. A chinchilla is therefore a fairly rare animal in its natural habitat today.
Chinchillas feed on nuts, seeds and berries. They can defend themselves by spraying urine and releasing their fur when they are under attack.
In more recent years people are beginning to keep chinchillas as pets. Chinchilla domestication occurred in the 1920s when an engineer in Chile took a group of chinchillas to California. Since then chinchillas are bred as pets and sold all around the world.When handling chinchillas, it is important to not pick them up from underneath like a rat or hamster, because they have a feature called "floating ribs". Their ribs are not fully attached to their spine and if pressure is applied upwards, the ribs could puncture vital organs and kill the chinchilla.Pet chinchillas require frequent attention as well as a supply of dust for "dust baths".
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First Published: 10th November 2008, Last Updated: 10th September 2018
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