Chinchillas are rodents of the Chinchillidae family. In the wild, you will find them in Northern Chile.
Chinchillas are not your average pets so many people wonder what interesting things they can find out about them. In this article, we have pooled together 50 of the most astonishing chinchilla facts that you will love.
Join us as we go through them.
Chinchillas dwell together in colonies called herds. They have the densest fur out of all land mammals with 20,000 hairs per square centimeter. They are native to the Andes Mountains and are currently an endangered species that is close to extinction. They eat plants, leaves, and seeds.
Now we’ve given you just a sample of some of the super cool facts about chinchillas that are coming up in this article.
Do you want to know more about the food they eat, their extremely dense fur, or even their origin?
Then make sure you check our full list of 50 facts coming up next in this article.
Table of Contents
Facts About Chinchilla
Coming up, you will see not just a mere 10 facts about chinchillas or 20, but a whopping 50 facts about these intriguing furry animals.
Among these 50 facts, you’ll find general facts to help you get to know these small pets better. You will also see facts about their fur, characteristics, predators, diet, and even more.
General Facts About Chinchillas
What facts must you know about chinchillas?
Let’s get the ball rolling with some of the essentials.
- A colony of chinchillas is called a herd. Between 14 to 100 chinchillas live together in a herd.
- Chinchillas live in the Andes mountains in South America.
- Wild chinchillas live in burrows and rock crevices.
- Chinchillas live relatively long lives in captivity, averaging 20 years. In the wild, they live for about 8 to 10 years.
Chinchilla Fur Facts
Which land mammal has the densest fur of all?
Find out more in this section of chinchilla fun facts.
- Chinchilla fur is the most dense fur of all land mammals. They also have very bushy tails.
- Most mammals grow just one hair per single hair follicle but not the chinchilla. About 50 hairs grow from each follicle on a chinchilla’s body. This contributes to its high density.
- They have more than 20,000 hairs per square centimeter. That’s why chinchilla fur is so popular in the fashion industry.
- Thanks to the thick fur of these animals, flees and skin parasites cannot live on them.
- Chinchillas take dust baths to remove dirt and oil from their thick fur.
- Thanks to their extremely soft but dense fur, chinchillas can survive the freezing temperatures in the Andes Mountains.
Pet Chinchilla Facts
Do chinchillas make good pets?
Find out more about how to look after them with the help of this fact file.
- Your pet chinchilla might be showing signs of stress if it begins to chew its fur. It might even begin chewing the fur of its cagemates.
- Like a guinea pig, your pet chinchilla will need a lot of dental care throughout its life as its teeth will never stop growing.
- Nearly every pet chinchilla in the United States is a direct descendant of 11 chinchillas that were imported into the country by an American Mining Engineer, Mathias Chapman in the early 1900s.
- Domestic chinchillas must live in a temperature-controlled environment as they cannot sweat and can easily overheat and die.
- Pet chinchillas must spend a lot of time with their owners or with other chinchillas as they are very social animals. This makes them great pets.
- Your pet will need to take dust baths twice a week preferably in the evenings. You will find the right materials for dust baths in good pet stores.
Facts About Male Chinchillas
What makes a male chinchilla different from other rodents?
You’ll see in the upcoming list of interesting facts about chinchillas.
- Unlike other rodents, male chinchillas help to raise their young along with the female chinchilla.
- A male chinchilla will help to keep its kits warm while they are small.
Facts About Female Chinchillas
What makes female chinchillas stand out from males?
Let’s find out.
- The gestation period for female chinchillas is 112 days.
- Female chinchillas become sexually mature at around 4 or 5 months old. But it is best to wait until they are 8 months to 1 year old to begin breeding them.
- Females can become aggressive towards other females during mating season.
- A female can live with other females quite happily. Do not pair a male and a female together unless you want them to mate.
Short-Tailed Chinchilla Facts
What makes this species of chinchilla so intriguing?
See for yourself with the help of our upcoming interesting chinchilla facts.
- The short-tailed chinchilla is an endangered species. They are often hunted for their fur in the wild.
- An easy way to tell the difference between a short-tailed chinchilla species and a long-tailed chinchilla is by looking at their tails, necks, shoulders, and ears. Short-tailed chinchillas have shorter necks and ears. They also have thicker shoulders and necks and shorter tails.
Long-Tailed Chinchilla Facts
Why is the name “long-tailed chinchilla” so fitting for these pets?
We’re about to uncover the reason.
- Long-tailed chinchillas have large ears and necks. They have smaller shoulders and longer tails.
- Domestic chinchillas are long-tailed chinchillas as there is a greater population of them in the wild.
- The long-tailed chinchilla is also known as the Chilean chinchilla, Coastal chinchilla, and Common chinchilla.
- The scientific name of this species is Chinchilla lanigera.
Which chinchilla behavior characteristics make them stand out against all other pets?
Here are just a couple.
- Chinchillas produce special droppings which they eat and redigest again.
- Breeding season for chinchillas begins in November and ends in May in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, the breeding season begins in May and ends in November.
- Chinchillas have very sensitive hearing. They hear at a similar frequency and sensitivity range as humans do. They are not like other species of the Rodentia family that normally have higher-frequency hearing.
- Chinchillas can spray urine. If your chinchilla begins spraying urine it is likely because it feels threatened and wants you to back away.
Chinchillas and Predators Facts
Which animals are a chinchilla’s number one predators and how does it avoid them?
Find out all its predator-avoiding tricks up next.
- In the wild, chinchillas must avoid predators like skunks, snakes, hawks, and eagles to stay alive.
- A chinchilla will stand on its muscular hind legs in an attempt to look bigger, scare off, and escape predators.
- Chinchillas use a technique called fur slip to get away from predators. This means they will release tufts of hair to get away from their predators.
Chinchilla Diet Facts
What do chinchillas like to eat?
Feast your eyes upon their preferred menu up next.
- Chinchillas like to eat plant leaves and seeds. They also occasionally eat insects such as moths and grasshoppers.
- In the wild, these rodents drink water from the plants they eat that have a high water content such as cacti. If they can’t get enough water from the plants, they’ll also drink the morning dew.
Facts About Conservation and Chinchillas
What are the conservation statuses of chinchillas and how much danger are they in?
We’ll learn more about their fragile population with the help of the following facts.
- In the past, chinchillas were found in some countries of South America in the Andes Mountains including Argentina, Chile, Peru, and Bolivia. Nowadays, you will find them in Northern Chile, but most agree that they have become extinct in other countries.
- Two species of chinchillas are still alive today. These are long-tailed and short-tailed chinchillas. Both are rare.
- It is illegal to hunt wild chinchillas, but they are still on the verge of becoming extinct due to poaching.
- The Chilean government has a chinchilla conservation plan. According to this plan, mining activities in this country are causing a lot of habitat loss to the animals.
- Chinchillas are listed as endangered on the IUCN’s red list. They are at risk of becoming critically endangered or even extinct because of the continuous commercial hunting for their highly coveted fur.
Facts About Temperature and Chinchillas
What kind of temperatures do chinchillas like?
You’ll see the harsh temperatures that these rodents love in the upcoming facts.
- Chinchillas, like to live in temperatures between 35 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit but a home environment that stays between 55 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit, is also fine for them.
- Chinchillas cannot cope with highly humid environments.
- Temperatures around and above 80 degrees Fahrenheit often cause heat stroke in these rodents.
- The most common signs of heat stroke in chinchillas are panting, open-mouth breathing, lethargy, and a high body temperature. It is often fatal for these rodents.
Chinchilla Body Facts
What are the most interesting things to learn about the proportions of a chinchilla’s body?
Take a look at some of them in this fact list.
- The long-tailed chinchilla’s tail is about a third of its body length.
- Chinchillas have 4 toes on each foot. They have stiff bristles around each claw on their feet.
- In captivity, chinchillas are usually double the size they are in the wild.
Summing Up the Best Chinchilla Facts
Chinchillas are well-known for their ultra-soft fur and placid nature. But thanks to the 50 fun facts running through this article, we have seen that there is so much more to them than that.
Chinchillas have extremely dense fur, so dense that parasites cannot live in it. They have hearing that is very sensitive and similar to our own.
They can use fascinating techniques such as a tail slip to get away from their predators. There is no end to all of the interesting things we can learn about these animals.
Did you find this article interesting?
At Oddly Cute Pets, we always strive to provide you with the best articles about chinchillas, guinea pigs, hamsters, and the other super cute rodents you have as pets. To find out more about how to look after, feed, and keep these pets healthy, check out our website.
Thanks for reading!