Degu ( Octodon degus )
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Degu (Octodon degus) is a rodent at the family Octodontidea. It can be found in the South America, mostly in Chile, from the West coast to the Andes. It is very sociable animal and it is often keep as a pet.
Its body is 25 – 31 centimetres long including the tail which length is 7 – 13 centimetres. There is a distinct bristle of hair at the end of it. In defense against their natural enemies, degus can loose the end of their tails; it will never grow again. The colouring is dark-brown and on belly and sides it is fair. Hind limbs are longer than front ones and there are five hairy fingers with small claws on each of them. It has pale circles around eyes. Its ears are quite long — 2,4 – 3,4 centimetres. It has long face fungus and dark-orange teeth. It weighs from 170 to 300 grams. Males are usually a bit larger than females.
50 % of wild degus live less than 1 year, only 1 % reaches the age of 2 years and only one of 5 400 trapped individuals was found to be 4 years old. Females reach sexual maturity at the age of 6 or 7 months, males a bit later. The gravidity lasts from 87 to 93 days and there are 3 to 10 youngs born. They are hairy and can see; can eat solid food immediately, although they are nursed for 5 – 6 weeks. Females have offspring twice a year.
It is herbivorous; its diet consists of bulbs of plants, crop on farms, grass, it nibbles at tree crust; in winter it eats dry leaves. They built large dens with number of entrances.