Long-tailed Chinchilla

The dense coat of the chinchilla helps it survive in its cold mountain habitat. It may have as many as 60 hairs growing from a single follicle. The chinchilla doesn't lick its fur to clean it; rather it rolls in volcanic dust to remove oils and parasites.

Despite being common in the pet trade the long-tailed chinchilla is critically endangered in the wild. It has been hunted to near extinction for its thick soft fur. It can take 100 or more chinchillas to make a single full-length coat.

South America

At A Glance

Habitat

Barren, rocky mountainsides in the Andes

Diet

Roots, tubers, bulbs and mosses

Location

Chile