Chinchillas are very cool little pets - owning one is similar in many ways to owning a rabbit or a very large hamster. The chinchillas large eyes, ears and feet combined with its incredibly soft fur gives it a lovable, perhaps even comical, appearance that is difficult for many to resist. Even those who don't particularly like small animals can't deny that these round mounds of fluff are extraordinarily cute. See more chinchilla photos.
Chinchillas are nocturnal rodents native to South America; more specifically Chile in the Andes mountains. In their natural environment their thick fur helps keep them warm in the frigid mountain temperatures. One of the chinchilla's most defining features, it's luxurious fur has made the the species a target of fur traders for years. Chinchillas are nearly extinct in the wild but have been ingreasing in popularity as housepets in America and Europe. Read more about the chinchillas history.
Like all rodents, chinchillas have 4 large incisors that never stop growing. Likewise, chinchillas will never stop chewing and need access to chewing material (such as wood) to keep their teeth properly trimmed. They don't have very good eye sight but excellent hearing, long whiskers and a surprisingly good memory help the chinchilla navigate through its environment. Read more about the chinchillas anatomy.