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ACORN VETERINARY SURGERY

 chinchillas
chinchilla
chinchilla
chinchilla

Chinchilla means "little Chinta," the South American Indian tribe after which the animal is named. A native of the high Andes Mountains in South America, this rodent species typically weighs between 1 and 2 pounds, and resembles a cross between a squirrel and a small rabbit. It has large eyes, big ears, long whiskers and a round, chubby body. A chinchilla carries its bushy tail, similar to that of a squirrel, curled over its back. Large hind feet help it hop like a kangaroo, and the small front legs and feet are like those of a squirrel.

The soft fur of a chinchilla comes in a variety of colours, the most common being the standard grey. The newest, rarest and most unusual color is African violet, a shade of pink or mauve. Another rare and unusual color is ebony; ebony chinchillas are jet black all over with no grey or white highlights. Other coat colors include mosaic (white with some other colour, usually silver or grey), beige (light tan or dark cream), black velvet (black on top, changing to grey on the sides), brown velvet (dark brown on top, lightening to beige on the sides) and charcoal (deep, dark grey). With the exception of the ebony chinchilla, all chinchillas have white underbellies.

The dense fur, while attractive, has more than one practical use for the animal. It effectively insulates against the extreme cold in the Andes and, because the hairs pull out easily, serves as a built-in protection against would-be predators unable to firmly grasp the little animal. Maybe such factors attribute the chinchilla's longevity--with proper care, it can live an average of 15 years.

 

chinchilla

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