18 Chinchilla Facts for Kids
Have you ever seen a chinchilla before? You may have seen these furry, soft rodents at local pet shops. Or you might even know someone who has one as a pet in their home. If you have never seen or been around one of these South American rodents before, you might not know much about them. Here, we have collected a few fascinating factoids about chinchillas.
1. In the wild, chinchillas live in northern Chile, near the Andes Mountains.
2. Chinchillas are just a bit bigger than an average squirrel.
3. When kept in captivity as pets, chinchillas can live up to 20 years.
4. If they are frightened, a chinchilla may bite. They may also be able to release a patch of fur to get away from perceived danger.
5. Chinchillas do not take baths in water. Instead, they take baths in volcanic ash and dust.
6. You can find chinchillas that are colored black, white, beige, grey, violet, and even sapphire.
7. A group of chinchillas is known as a colony.
8. Chinchillas are much happier when they are housed with another chinchilla, or given lots of attention from their owners.
9. The fur of the chinchilla is so thick that they do not get fleas.
10. Usually, females can have babies (kits) around twice per year. They normally give birth to around 2 baby chinchillas per litter. However, their litters can be as small as just 1 kit, or as large as 6 kits.
11. Chinchillas are much more active at sunrise and sunset. They sleep during the day.
12. A chinchilla can jump up to 5 feet in the air.
13. Despite having large eyes, the eyes of a chinchilla do not see very well. Instead, they “see,” things with their very sensitive whiskers.
14. The fur of the chinchilla is known as the softest of all land animals in the world. So much so that the fur harvested from chinchillas is sometimes used to make coats. It can take hundreds of animals to get enough fur to make one coat.
15. Chinchillas never quit growing teeth in their lifetime. Owners need to be sure to give their pets enough things to chew on.
16. In the wild, chinchillas will eat both plants, as well as meat.
17. All pet chinchillas that are found in the United States came from 11 original chinchillas that a single person brought to the US.
18. Wild chinchillas are endangered, and cannot be used for fur or as pets.