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Octodonts: Octodontidae

Octodonts And People

Most octodonts have little interaction with humans. Degus are used for laboratory research. They are also sold as pets in the United States. In the wild, degus and coruros are often killed by farmers who consider them agricultural pests, blaming them for destroying grain fields, orchards, and vineyards.


Never try to catch or pick up a degu by its tail. As a defense against predators in the wild, the end of the tail will come off when it is pulled, allowing the degu to make an escape. However, it results in a bloody injury and can become infected. Usually, part or all of the remaining tail will either dry up and fall off or the degu will chew it off. The lost part never grows back.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceMammalsOctodonts: Octodontidae - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Octodonts And People, Degu (octodon Degus): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, CONSERVATION STATUS