Characteristics of the long tail chinchilla

Original Habitat/Original: chilean coastal areas and central Chile live between 400 to 1500 metres altitude later retreat to higher areas due to the human settlement.

Lifestyle: spend most of the day dormant and sleeping in hiding places such as earth holes, hiding behind and between fodder plants and in smaller fissures; towards dusk they go on foraging; probably live in colonies

Weight: normal weight is about 500-700 grams; single individuals - often breeders - up to 1000g heavy, some also lighter; tip to the topic: weight

Size: 20-26 centremetre +10-20 centremetre tail

Life span: approx 6-15 years, some over 20 years; many die earlier due to improper diet, posture and genetic defects/hereditary diseases espacially plague and heart abnormalities; tip to the topic: Life span

Body temperature: 36-39 degrees

Pulse rate: 40-100-240/ minute

Color: natural color is silver agouti with white base (also called gray or standard); in the meantime, colors have been breed


Activity time: depending on the season about 19-7 (mostly dawning and night active, sleeping in summer longer than in cold season)

Social: live in groups, aren't solitary animals, should be kept at least in pairs, the sex being secondary; larger groups from 4 animals upwards often unstable, in particular bucking groups; during the puberty danger of strife and groups breakdown, since the rank order is reregulated.

Sex marturity: 4-6 months (femals) and 3-4 months (male); tip to topic: sex maturity

Breeding maturity: depending on the developement from 8-12 months (femals)

Rut: every 28-34 days , takes about 3-5 days

Gestation: 111 days (106-120 days possible)

Number of litter/year: 2-3

Size of the litter: 1-3 (up to 6 babies possible)


Gender differences: click here

Compatible room temperature: 10-20 degrees ideal room temperature, can deal with cold better than with heat, from about 25 degrees increases the risk of a heart stroke; tip to the topic (below): cage location

Character: very agile, curious, intelligent, strong, stubborn, scary, sensitive and individual

Skills: chinchillas can run very fast and jump very well, listen and orient themselves in darkness, despite rumors and chines chins from time to time also gladly times in the scattered, but need no additional grab possibility as fetus climbing as squirrels or rats cannot do chinchillas.

Specialities: can be discarded with danger skin, are permanent seperators. They cannot control the droppings and cuddle everywhere; go espacially with clever forage , give heat chiefly through the ears and feet, and are there fore sensitive to heat

Suitability: largely observation bulls; no pet for (small) children