chinchilla


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chinchilla

(chĭnchĭl`ə), small burrowing rodent of South America. It lives in colonies at high altitudes (up to 15,000 ft/4,270 m) in the Andes of Bolivia, Chile, and Peru. One of the costliest of all furs, its soft gray pelt has been valued since the days of the Inca. The wild chinchilla was nearly exterminated before protective laws were passed. At one time over 200,000 pelts were exported from Chile. Wild chinchilla coats have cost as much as $100,000. Chinchillas are now raised on farms in South America and the United States, and this has resulted in lower prices for the skins, which are still considered among the most valuable. Chinchillas are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Rodentia, family Chinchillidae.

Chinchilla

 

a genus of rodents of the family Chinchillidae. The body length is 22–38 cm, and the tail length 7–15 cm. The head and eyes are large, the ears orbicular (5–6 cm), and the whiskers long. The four-toed hind legs are twice as long as the five-toed fore legs. There are 20 teeth, including 16 molars that grow throughout the animal’s life. The soft, thick fur reaches 3 cm in length. The coloration is white on the abdomen and blue-gray with dark overtones on the back and sides. Seasonal and sexual dimorphism is absent. There are two species—the long-tailed (C. laniger) and the short-tailed (C. brevicaudata).

Chinchillas are found in the arid mountainous regions of the Chilean, Peruvian, Bolivian, and Argentinian Andes. They live in colonies in crevices of cliffs; they are nocturnal throughout the year. Chinchillas feed on grasses, shrubs, and cacti. One to three litters are produced yearly, with an average of two young in each (a litter may contain one to six young).

By the early 20th century chinchillas had almost been hunted to extinction for their valuable fur. The animals are now protected by law and bred in small numbers on farms in many countries. In the USSR chinchillas have been bred since 1960 on the test farm of the All-Union Research Institute of Hunting and Fur Farming near Kirov; the animals are also being raised by amateur breeders in 40 oblasts. Experiments on acclimatizing the animals in the Pamirs and Transcaucasia are in progress.

I. B. KIRIS

chinchilla

[chin′chil·ə]
(vertebrate zoology)
The common name for two species of rodents in the genus Chinchilla belonging to the family Chinchillidae.

chinchilla

one of the costliest of furs, made into luxurious coats. [Western Culture: Misc.]
See: Luxury

chinchilla

1. a small gregarious hystricomorph rodent, Chinchilla laniger, inhabiting mountainous regions of South America: family Chinchillidae. It has a stocky body and is bred in captivity for its soft silvery grey fur
2. the highly valued fur of this animal
3. mountain chinchilla any of several long-tailed rodents of the genus Lagidium, having coarse poor quality fur
4. a breed of rabbit with soft silver-grey fur
5. a thick napped woollen cloth used for coats
References in periodicals archive ?
This may be caused by the diet being too low in calcium or the chinchilla being unable to take up and use the calcium in the diet.
that will greatly define progress and development as a whole--not only between the US and Costa Rica but between the US and the Central American region--which is clean energy, and topics related to education, entrepreneurship, and innovation," Chinchilla added.
Much of this was due to Linc Energy constructing its major equipment upon a built-up pad of roadbase, which lifted the majority of Linc Energy's Chinchilla operations up over 900mm (3 feet) above the low lying grasslands.
El objetivo del presente estudio fue investigar los efectos de diferentes niveles de AF en el alimento en la especie Chinchilla lanigera.
When we talk to medical technology companies in Costa Pica about their future plans, the good news is that all these enterprises plan expansion," Chinchilla told Medical Product Outsourcing.
Ms Chinchilla promised to rule with "humility, honesty and firmness" and said she'll pursue the same economic policies that recently brought the country into a trade pact with the US.
Y es que pese a la popularidad de que goza el premio Nobel de la paz de 1987, tanto entre los costarricenses como fuera de las fronteras del pais, para Chinchilla es fundamental desmarcarse de las politicas economicas de su antecesor.
Al cierre de este material, el Tribunal Supremo de Elecciones (TSE) de la llamada "Suiza de America Central", informaba que con el 57 por ciento de los votos contabilizados, Chinchilla obtenia 46.
Costa Ricans have elected their first female president, with Laura Chinchilla, the ruling party candidate, taking 49 per cent of the vote, with some ballots still to be counted.
I want to thank the pioneering women who years ago opened the doors of politics in Costa Rica," Laura Chinchilla said Sunday to flag-waving supporters in the capital, San Jose.