Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Chinchilla, a name for two genera of South American rodents, forming, with the Viscachas, the family Chinchillidae. The true Chinchillas (Chinchilla lanigera and C. brevicaudata), from the Andes of Chili and Peru, are active squirrel-like animals, with silvery grey fur marbled and tinged with black. This fur is in much request, and to obtain it thousands of these rodents are trapped every year. The Alpine Chinchillas (Lagidium cuvieri and L. pallipes) are much larger; they resemble the hare in form, and the fur is ash-grey. The last-named species has a more northerly range than any of the others.