Saturday, March 23, 2013

Bridge's Degu

Common Degus
In the past we've learned about the Common Degu, a small relative to Chinchillas that is sometimes kept as a pet (by weirdos like me). But the Common Degu isn't the only member of its genus-- there are actually three more lesser-known species.

The Bridge's Degu is one of them (are are so little known that I couldn't find a picture!). These rodents live in Argentina and Chile, and unlike their more popular cousins, they are nocturnal. They are named for Thomas Bridges, a naturalist who first identified them and collected specimens in 1844.

These animals look similar to Common Degus-- they have brown fur, rounded ears, and long tails with tufts on the end. They are decent tree climbers, and do not dig as much as their more common cousins.

Bridge's Degus happen to be listed as Vulnerable. Deforestation has been a major culprit to their population decline, as they need the rocky woodlands in order to survive.

IUCN Status : Vulnerable
Location : Chile and Argentina
Size : Body length around 6in (15cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Mammalia -- Order : Rodentia
Family : Octodontidae -- Genus : Octodon -- Species : O. bridgesi
Image : A. Savin

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