Chinchilla lanigera

The chinchilla has a head and body length of 9 to 14 inches with a 3 to 6 inch tail. Females are larger than males weighing 1.5 to 2 pounds, while males rarely exceed 1 pound. They have extremely dense, soft, silky fur which may grow to 1.5 inches long. They may have as many as 40 hairs growing from one follicle. Color is pearly or brown-grey with black tips on the upper parts. They have conspicuously long whiskers with which they can feel their way in dark tunnels. Chinchillas are extremely endangered in the wild because of the fur trade. It requires a minimum of 140 pelts to make one coat.