Animal Database

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Animal Database
Animal Database
Long-tailed Chinchilla (Chinchilla lanigera)
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Rodentia
Family Chinchillidae

Chinchillidae is a order of rodents and consists of the chinchillas, the viscachas, and their fossil relatives. This family is restricted to southern and western South America, mostly living in mountainous regions of the Andes but one species living on plains. They are medium to large-sized rodents, weighing from 800 g (28 oz) to 8 kg (18 lb), with strong hind legs and large ears and a bushy tail. All species have thick, soft fur, which is considered valuable in some cultures.


Members of the family Chinchillidae are somewhat squirrel-like rodents varying in weight from 0.5 to 8 kilograms (1.1 to 17.6 lb). They have large eyes, medium-sized ears, soft dense fur and short bushy tails. The forelegs are shorter than the hind legs. The forefeet have four toes while the hind feet have four small-clawed toes in Lagidium and Chinchilla but three large-clawed toes in Lagostomus, a digging species. Their dental formula is 1/1, 0/0, 1/1, 3/3 and their incisors grow continually throughout their lives. Chinchillids are generally brownish-grey or grey on the dorsal (upper) surface and pale on the ventral (under) surface. Plains viscachas have distinctive black and white markings on their faces.



There are three extant and three fossil genera currently recognized.

 Subfamily: Chinchillinae
  Chinchilla (Chinchillas)
   Long-tailed Chinchilla (Bennett, 1829) (Chinchilla lanigera)
   Short-tailed Chinchilla (Lichtenstein, 1829) (Chinchilla chinchilla)
  Lagidium (Mountain viscachas)
   Southern Viscacha (Molina, 1782) (Lagidium viscacia)
   Northern Viscacha (Meyen, 1833) (Lagidium peruanum)
   Wolffsohn's Viscacha ((Thomas, 1907) (Lagidium wolffsohni)
   Lagidium ahuacaense (Ledesma et al., 2009) (Lagidium ahuacaense)
 Subfamily Lagostominae
  Lagostomus (Plains viscachas)
   Plains Viscacha (Desmarest, 1817) (Lagostomus maximus)
   †Lagostomus crassus (Thomas, 1910)