Physical characteristics

All species are large-bodied rodents with large, broad heads, thick fur, and rabbit-like in appearance. Chinchillas have extremely large auditory bullae relative to the other genera. The plains viscacha, Lagostomus maximus, is the largest species, weighing up to 20 lb (9 kg). Compared to the mountain viscacha, Lagidium viscacia, which weighs up to 6.6 lb (3 kg), chinchillas are much smaller, weighing less than 2.2 lb (1 kg). All species have strong hind legs and feet. Mountain viscachas and chinchillas are adapted for leaping, whereas the plains viscacha is more adapted to burrowing. Except for the plains viscacha, most species have minimal digit reduction. Chinchillas and mountain viscachas have longer tails relative to the head and body length. All species have soft underfur, and pelage color is generally darker on top and lighter on the ventral side. The plains viscacha varies in dorsal pelage color in response to differences in substrate coloration, and chinchillas have bluish dorsal coloration with lighter underside.

0 0

Post a comment