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BiologyChinchillas are primarily nocturnal animals with activity peaking at dusk and dawn. During the day they rest in holes and crevices among rocks, emerging at dusk to forage through the night (6). Their diet is omnivorous, and though they feed primarily on seeds and grass, they also eat a variety of other vegetation, insects and bird eggs (2). While eating, chinchillas sit upright on their hind legs and hold the food in their front paws (6). These rodents are social animals and live in colonies of up to 100 individuals (2). Females are mostly monogamous and bear two litters per year, with two to three young per litter (6). The gestation period is 111 days, which, for a small mammal, is a relatively long period. The young are well developed at birth (2) (5), weighing up to 35 grams. They are fully furred and their eyes are open at birth. As the young are relatively advanced, the female does not need to invest much parental care, and weans them after only 6-8 weeks. This allows the female to mate again and bear another litter (6). The lifespan in the wild is around 10 years, though domesticated chinchillas may live for up to 20 years (5) (6).