Since then, we call these animals “ball with ears.” Due to the characteristic appearance, this nickname suits them.
The higher cost of chinchillas, compared to, say, rabbits, is not due to the complexity of their content, but to the low productive capacity, long gestation and few offspring. For the same reason, breeding the animal on the skin is also unprofitable. But as a pet “ball with ears” is worth the cost.
Chinchilla is an adorable, meek, gentle, and playful animal. One of the main advantages is that in a charming eared and big-eyed head hides intelligence, powerful enough for a rodent. Chinchillas are not only easy to tame but even amenable to some training, able to respond to the nickname. Besides, they live, with good care, up to 15-20 years, which is good news for the future owner. But especially girls and women love these animals. After all, they are so sweet! I know for myself and my friends how difficult it is to resist the unimaginably soft fur coat and lively perky face of its owner. Chinchilla looks like a small soft toy. Moreover, its size, due to “increased fluffiness” is much smaller than it seems. In the hands of the animal, it feels like something weightless and very defenseless, requiring special care.
Chinchilla belongs to the order of rodents, chinchilla family, genus of chinchillas. In the genus two species of short-tailed and long-tailed (ordinary) chinchillas. Since the last species, Chichilla Laniger Melina, is bred in captivity, we will get to know him.
Chinchilla was brought to us from South America. In nature, they live in the highlands of Peru, Bolivia, Chile, along the coast of the Pacific Ocean.
In their homeland, chinchillas are practically exterminated. Because of their beautiful fur, they have been the object of hunting since ancient times. They were hunted even by the Indians before the arrival of the European conquerors. They first tried to keep them in captivity. Like most ancient peoples, the Indians before the arrival of the Europeans treated natural resources quite carefully, and, despite the active hunting, the numbers of chinchillas still did not threaten. The real predatory extermination of chinchillas began in the late XIX-early XX centuries when the fur of animals became in Europe and North America a symbol of high position in society. Currently, animals are listed in the red book.
Features of biology.
The body weight of a long-tailed chinchilla is 400-700 g, body length is 25-26 cm, tail 9-17 cm.
In nature, animals live in pairs, but they form colonies. The harsh climate of the highlands and the lifestyle of the animals influenced their appearance. The famous very thick (on one square. Cm up to 20 000 hairs!) And silky fur are designed to protect the animal from low temperatures and winds, which are not uncommon in these places. Downy hair in a fur coat is almost equal in length to covering hair. This feature, as well as the fact that the individual covering hairs are split into thin threads, gives the fur extraordinary softness and density. Compact addition and rounded shapes also help to maintain body temperature. The animals are more active at dusk and night. Big eyes, ears, and long mobile whiskers vibrissae allow you to navigate in the dark and on dangerous scree. Well-developed hind limbs, which somehow remind us of kangaroos or jerboas, are naturally most intended for jumping over steep rocks. The front legs are short; with their help, the animal captures food when eaten. Claws on the legs are very small, dull. Sometimes it seems that they are absent in chinchillas.
Also, chinchillas have several more exciting features. Their torso can be compressed in an upright position, which allows them to seep through any narrow crevice in the rock (or the gap between the bars of the cage!). Another feature is autotomy: the ability to separate hair from the skin. In times of danger, a chinchilla can leave hair in the enemy’s teeth and escape.