DESCRIPTION OF THE SPECIES
Medium-sized rodent. The body length is 22-40cm, the tail length is 7-20cm. Chinchillas are sexually dimorphic: the females are larger than the males. The males of wild chinchilla weigh 420g, the females weigh 600g. Domesticated females may weigh up to 800g; the weight of the males usually does not exceed 700g. The eyes are big, the ears are large. The fore legs are tetradactyl, as well as the hind ones, however, the latter have the very short fifth digit. The fur is dense and soft. Up to 60 hairs may grow from a single hair follicle. The colouration on the back is bluish-gray with black tint. There are a lot of long black or gray vibrissae. Chinchillas live in colonies of up to 100 animals. The females are very aggressive towards the other animals in the group, and even during the mating season, they are often aggressive towards the males. Despite this, the serious fights happen rarely in nature, because the animals simply go away. The animal is domesticated. The wild long-tailed chinchilla is in the IUCN Red List as critically endangered (CR).
Herbaceous plants (mainly cereals, fabaceous), moss, lichen, cacti, bushes, tree bark. Insects are their animal food.
In nature, they live, perhaps, 8-10 years. Domesticated animals live up to 20 years, and successfully breed till 12-15 years