The chinchilla is a mammal native to the Andes mountains in South America. They are known for their thick, fluffy hair but other physical traits include rounded ears and a bushy tail. The average chinchilla has a body that is about 10-14 inches, with a 5-6 inch tail. The average weight is 2-3 pounds. On average, a chinchilla will live for 12-20 years, with 15 being the most common.
Diet and Behavior
Chinchillas live in small mobs, in burrows in the rocks. They are active at dawn and dusk, and live off a diet composed mainly of plant leaves, seeds and flowers. Although once endangered because of the fur industry, the chinchilla population is now high.
Chinchillas are still hunted for their thick fur. One fur coat is generally composed of around 150 chinchilla pelts. Because of this, it is very important for the fur industry to monitor how many are killed. Chinchillas are also very popular as pets, and pet owners should be mindful of care requirements. Feeding chinchillas meat, protein or other fatty foods is bad as they cannot properly digest it.