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The long-tailed chinchilla (Chinchilla lanigera) is well known for being a popular pet, but it in its native land of Chile its population is declining due to hunting for its fur, and its future is uncertain. It has an attractive appearance with a broad head, fairly large ears and large black eyes. Its body is small, with a bushy tail, and is covered in dense, soft fur to insulate it in the cold barren mountainous regions where it lives. It’s body is slender with a tail measuring up to a third the size of its body, and long, strong hind legs, which enable it to run and jump agilely. The dorsal side is coloured bluish, pearl or brownish grey, and the belly is a yellowish white colour. Each hair usually has a black tip, and as many as 60 hairs grow out of one follicle.

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