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Chinchilla - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Chinchilla By: Kirsten Knutson. Chinchilla. By: Kirsten Knutson. Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Mammalia Order: Rodentia Family: Chinchillidae Genus: Chinchilla. Shape: Size of small Rabiat Length:  Body 22.5 - 38 cm Tail 7.5 - 15 cm

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By: Kirsten Knutson


By: Kirsten Knutson

description of the chinchilla
Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Rodentia

Family: Chinchillidae

Genus: Chinchilla

Shape: Size of small Rabiat


Body 22.5 - 38 cm

Tail 7.5 - 15 cm

Height: 12 inches

Weight: 1.3-4 pounds

Colors and Markings:

White, Black, Beige, Tan, Brown, Pink White, Violet, Sapphire, and Ebony

Description of the Chinchilla


Part of World: Chinchillas come from the Andes Mountains of South America

Environment: Cold areas prefer under 75°F, prefer places that are quiet and peaceful



Chinchillas are omnivores

Meat: Chinchillas do not eat meat

Plant: Chinchillas often eat plants that belong to the cactus family in the wild but when in captivity or kept as pets they are usually feed hay

Fruits: Chinchillas can only eat fruits every so often or they can get diseases


Family Life


Number of: 2-3 born each litter

Gestation: From 109 to 120 days

When Born: Usually in winter or early spring but doesn't have to be born at a certain time

Care of: Chinchillas are taken care of by the mother.  After an hour or so the chinchilla will no longer need the mother as it will start to play around


Social Behavior

Chinchillas are very social and usually stay in packs.  Females will be rough with other females and also some males as well.  The chinchillas packs consist from within 4 - 300 pups in the wild



Temperament: A chinchilla can be rough and mean until trusted

Habitats and Unique Behavior: When frightened chinchillas will shed hair.  Chinchillas communicate with a variety of chirps, squeaks, and barks. 


Characteristics cont.

Defenses: Includes spraying urine and releasing hair so predators can not grip the chinchilla.  

Acquiring Food: Chinchillas will find food by sniffing out plants, in wild chinchillas will search food in colonies.

Life Span: 10-15 years



Chinchillas were first found in the 1600's by Spanish conquistadors.  They were then hunted for their fur.  They were almost became extinct due to the hunting for fur.  In 1923 M. F. Chapman rediscovered the chinchillas and brought 12 back with him to the United States even though laws forbid the capturing of chinchillas due to close extinction.


Present Status

Very common as pets.  Chinchillas are still raised and killed for the fur industry.  Chinchillas still live in the wild and are endangered.



Year  Event  

1524 The Spaniards discover the Chinchilla.

1591 The first written record of Chinchillas appears.

1829 The first "Lanigera" comes to London Zoo, the first held in captivity worldwide 

1865  "Lanigera" shown for the first time at Hamburg Zoo in Germany 

1923 With 12 animals M. F. Chapman begins his Chinchilla Ranching. 

1936 Establishment of the first Chinchilla organization NCBA

1949 Establishment of the Chinchilla Association of America (C.A.A.)

2004 Fur farming made illegal in the UK following new legislation   


Relationship to Humans

Chinchillas are kept as pets and are sold for fur to be made into coats, hats, etc.




Additional information and videos

Long-tailed Chinchilla

Chinchilla Giving Birth

Chinchilla Dust Bathing