Chinchilla rats are thought to be colonial. A field study observed a half dozen A. cinerea burrowing within 59 ft (18 m) of one another, and small colonies can even occupy a single burrow. Further attesting to their colonial proclivity have been observations of co-dwelling degu, another rodent that has similar size and behavior.

Both males and females are nocturnal, and keep to their burrows or crevices by day.

Communication includes the issuing of a grunt prior to or following an attack, a higher-pitched squeak when under pursuit, and a gurgling sound when being groomed.

The ashy chinchilla rat (Abrocoma cinerea) communicates through grunts and squeaks. (Photo by Hernán Torres. Reproduced by permission.)
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