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Are Chinchillas Marsupials? A Fact to Know

Chinchillas have been one of the cutest pets, and there have been several among us who think of them as being a great option in every respect. But when we have them we need to know all about them be it the type of animal, or what they eat or how do they sound?are chinchillas marsupials?Also, there are several misconceptions regarding the chinchillas. One of the misconceptions is the confusion about whether the chinchillas are marsupials? Let us see what they actually are.

Are Chinchillas Marsupials?

Chinchillas are not marsupials. Marsupials are the animals that carry a pouch for carrying their younger ones. Chinchillas do not carry any pouch for their younger ones. Marsupials have the pouch to carry the younger ones because the babies are quite underdeveloped and need a support.

Chinchillas do not carry the pouch that can help them carry their younger ones around. In fact, they are not even loosely related to the marsupials. Marsupials and rodents belong to the mammal’s family, but there are huge differences between the two. Chinchillas are rodents and not marsupials.

What are Chinchillas, then?

Chinchillas are the small-sized rodents and are primarily found in the Andes Mountains in South America. They are actually small to medium-sized, but just because they have dense hair, they appear more substantial.

Chinchillas have large ears and long whiskers. In a way, they resemble the rabbits in some way. The chinchillas are facing extinction due to the incessant hunting for their fur. The chinchillas that you find these days in pet shops are indeed bred in captivity. They can be one of the excellent options for your needs in taking a pet for fun and cuddly companions.

Chinchillas can live up to 20 years and can be found in two different species – short-tailed and the long-tailed chinchilla. There may be different types which may include the regional sub-types.

Are Chinchillas Rodents?

Chinchillas are rodents, and they belong to the same genre as rats, mice, squirrels, and other similar animals. The typical signs of a rodent are found in chinchillas as well, and that should explain why they are referred to as rodents.

Rodents are correctly identified by their teeth in general and incisors in particular. They have four central teeth at the front of the mouth. Two of them are found at the top, and two of them are found at the bottom. These teeth are long enough, and they keep growing throughout their life. These symptoms are in tune with those found on other rodents, and that is why we can say chinchillas are rodents.

Where do Chinchillas Come From?

Chinchillas are originally from South America. Primarily found in Chile, Peru, and Argentina. However, due to trapping for the fur, the population of chinchillas has been dwindling consistently in Peru and Argentina. However, the chinchilla population in Chile appears to be quite stable.

At the turn of the 20th century, Matthias Chapman received special permission from the local governments and finally brought a small group of long-tailed chinchillas to the US. The current breed of the chinchillas found in the US is the descendants of this small group of chinchillas.

Concluding Thoughts

Well, that should have provided you with enough idea into what chinchillas are and why they are considered to be marsupials. In fact, marsupials have their kids and babies born prematurely and thus need to be taken care of by keeping them in their pouches. Chinchillas neither have the pouches for their babies nor do they give birth to premature babies. They are basically rodents and look different just because of their dense fur.

That should clearly explain the differences between a marsupial and a chinchilla and let you know why a chinchilla is not a marsupial, but a rodent.

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