Chinchilla Colors

There is a wide array of chinchilla colors, even though the standard chinchilla color is a violet gray color. This array in color is said to be caused by genetic mutations. The standard chinchilla color is not solid and can have differences though as well, such as a white belly, for example. A blue hue and a strong veiling are also characteristics that it can have. The standard chinchilla colors are primarily divided into four main groups: extra dark, dark, medium and light; however, there are many chinchillas that are in fact mutated, so have different abnormal colored fur.

Chinchillas are South American rodents which have multiple purposes in many people’s lives. In most cases, they unfortunately serve the purpose of business. Chinchillas are raised and then used for their fur to make clothing. Chinchillas are also kept as pets, as they are small, friendly, trainable and easily taken care of.

A giant species of chinchilla once existed but was brought to extinction by over-hunting for their fur. One of the two main types of chinchilla that exist today, called the brevicaudata, is facing extinction as well, due to the over-hunting and declining natural habitat. They are usually stout, large and have a small tail. However, the other type of chinchilla, the lanigera, is characterized quite differently. It has huge ears, a nice long tail and is domesticated by humans.

As stated before, chinchilla colors can vary due to mutations. One of the shades of color caused by mutation is black. This mutation can vary from light gray to black. When genes are passed down from parents to children in chinchillas, the mutated chinchilla color is always dominant. This means that as long as one of the two chinchillas that are mating have a mutated color, the offspring will carry that trait.

These chinchilla colors (black to light gray) don’t have a white underbelly area as other chinchillas do, they have the same color all over their body. The mutated gene that is passed down has another effect as well. The gene causes these black and light gray chinchilla colors to mature much slower than regular chinchillas. They take two years to mature which is more than twice as long as the regular chinchillas.

Another mutated chinchilla color is charcoal. However, a different gene is responsible for this because the gene will only be passed down to offspring if both parents have this colored fur. This means that the charcoal chinchilla color gene is a recessive gene. When this chinchilla mates with a brown velvet chinchilla, a cross breed of chinchillas is formed called the char brown chinchilla.

One of the most beautiful chinchilla colors is none other than the black velvet chinchilla. It has a fully covered face and the color extends to its back. It is rumored that the fur of this chinchilla actually feels like velvet. This chinchilla, just like the normal chinchilla, has a white underbelly.

Homo beige chinchillas and hetero beige chinchillas are two mutated chinchillas that quite similar. Both these chinchillas have pink ears and red eyes. Thus main difference lies in the color of the two chinchillas, where one is darker (the hetero beige) and the other is lighter (the homo beige).

These chinchillas are very popular for crossbreeding, as they can be cross bred with black velvet chinchillas, producing the brown chinchilla. They can also be cross bred with violet chinchillas, producing the pearl chinchilla. Pearl chinchillas are known to have the most amazing chinchilla color, as well as the softest fur among chinchillas.

Mosaic chinchillas are bred with standard colored chinchillas. They are light in color, but have dark vibrant eyes and ears. They usually have different patterns on them as well, which is where the name originates. This chinchilla color can also have a silver shade to them.

According to scientists, pink white chinchillas carry the beige chinchilla genes and have red eyes and pink eyes, just as the beige chinchillas.

4 comments

 

  1. Jason · July 12, 2010

    This helped me alot in my college assignment for animal fur genes, thanks.

  2. Norman · July 12, 2010

    I dugg your article on digg, so hopefully more people are able to see it, very helpful for my sons first Chinchilla.

    – Norman

  3. KC Faun · July 12, 2010

    Thank you for this site, saved me quite a lot of money from buying chinchilla books! Best regards

  4. Jessica · July 12, 2010

    OMG! I just looked up white chinchillas after reading this and they are sooooo cute! I want one!! 😀