Discover the degu
The Common Degu, also known as octodon, is found, in the wild, in an area from central Chile to southern Peru, where it is the most common rodent. It is found mainly on the western slopes of the Andean Cordillera, where it can be found up to 1,200 meters above sea level. it lives in semi-arid steppes, close to thickets, rocks and walls in which they can hide. Its Latin name, Octodon Degu, comes from the shape of its molars and pre-molars, which have a shape of 8.
They are used in the laboratory to study diabetes, which they are natural carrier, and because they are easy to reproduce.
It is also a relatively noisy rodent since it has a complex system of vocals. They will let out strident sounds to warn of danger and to chirp like birds when they are happy. It's also not uncommon to hear them shouting at you when you offer them food or treats.
Différent from Chinchilla
Although they are cousins, the degu and the chinchilla are relatively different. Nevertheless, many people confuse them, mainly because the degu is still very unknown in Quebec.
In the wild, it is brown with white belly (agouti). Its fur is relatively short but dense.
The tail is almost as long as its body, slightly covered with hair with a brush at the end. Its ears are smaller than the chinchilla in comparison with its size and are a little more triangular. It is also smaller, measuring between 25 and 31cm with tail in adulthood.
Its french name is Dégu and is part of the Octodontidae family.
It is a rodent of South America whose fur is gray on the top and white on the belly, which is very dense, with big ears. His tail is also very bushy.
There are two species in the wild : Short-tailed Chinchilla and Long-tailed Chinchilla. Domestic specimens are the result of crosses between the two species, but are much more similar to Long-tailed Chinchillas. They were first bred mainly for their fur. An adult measures between 35 and 55cm with the tail.
Its french name is Chinchilla and is part of the Chinchillidae family.