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Chinchilla Rats: Abrocomidae

Behavior And Reproduction

There is very little scientific information on the behavior of chinchilla rats, due to their small population. Only a handful of research has been done on the small rodents. What is known has usually been gained by observing the behavior of only a few of each species.

Chinchilla rats live inside burrows in colonies of up to six individuals. Colonies are usually close together, sometimes as little as 59 feet (18 meters) apart. Little is known about the reproductive behavior of chinchilla rats. They usually mate in January or February. The gestation period, the length of time the female carries the babies in her womb, is 115 to 118 days. Litters are usually one or two babies.

There are four species: Bennett's chinchilla rat, which lives in the coastal foothills and high plains of the Andes Mountains in Chile; Bolivian chinchilla rat, which is found in central Bolivia; ashy chinchilla rat, found in the high plains of the Andes in Bolivia, Chile, and Peru; and Cuscomys ashaninki, which does not have a common name, found in Peru.

Cuscomys ashaninki was discovered in 1999 when a single dead body was found. As a result, there is virtually no information available on this species. The skeletal remains of another species, Cuscomys oblativa, have been found in Peru but the species is believed to be extinct.

Bennett's chinchilla rat sometimes shares burrows with similar-sized degus. A Bennett's chinchilla rat in captivity lived two years and four months. Their lifespan in the wild is believed to be one to two years.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceMammalsChinchilla Rats: Abrocomidae - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Chinchilla Rats And People, Ashy Chinchilla Rat (abrocoma Cinerea): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, CONSERVATION STATUS