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Posted by on May 28, 2016 in Tell Me Why |

Why Do Chinchillas Take Dust Baths?

Why Do Chinchillas Take Dust Baths?

Chinchillas take dust baths. Yes, they do not take water or wet baths. Their fur is so dense and will have a problem completely drying out. It is why they take dust baths instead to help get rid of oils and dirt.

It is like a Chinchilla using a dry shampoo. They also roll in the dust playfully while bathing, being the typical cute and adorable animal that they are. When chinchillas take a dust bath, they roll around in a dust made up of fine pumice, which is made up of tiny bits of volcanic rock. The dust soaks up oil and dirt in their fur.

Chinchillas are rodents with incredibly soft fur, large ears and eyes and a long tail, native to the Andes Mountains in South America. Chinchillas have the softest fur in all of land mammals. Their fur is so soft and luxurious that the first reason why Chinchillas were hunted by the native tribes who lived in The Andes Mountains is not for their meat, but for their fur.

It is very dense and have 50-80 hairs growing out of a single follicle compared to a human’s which only grows 2-3 hairs per follicle. Adults average about 12 inches in length and about a pound in weight. Chinchillas are nocturnal creatures that are mostly awake at night. They are typical asleep during the day.

Chinchillas grow their teeth for life. It never stops growing and it can even grow as much as 12 inches per year. Chinchillas see with their whiskers. Even though they have big eyes, the eyes are under developed, making the Chinchilla not see well with it. They have long whiskers which can grow half the length of their body to help them ‘see’ or rather feel things around them.

Chinchillas use their tail for balance and are high jumpers and prolific climbers! In the wild, they lived in rocky and mountainous areas, so they are able to jump from high places (about 6 feet). They also use their tail to help them balance as they move and climb from area to area of their mountainous home.

Chinchillas are very compassionate animals. If another female cannot produce milk, another female can adopt the babies. More so, unlike in other rodents, male Chins do not kill or harm babies, and in fact can baby sit the kits or baby Chinchilla if the mother is out feeding.

Content for this question contributed by Michele Mazanec, resident of Sagamore Hills, Summit County, Ohio, USA