Habitat - Chile and the eastern part of the Andes.
Body length - 20 cm. Tail length - up to 10.5 cm.
Weight - 200 - 300 g.
Degus feed on grass, leaves, seeds, roots and fruits. In search of food, they can climb shrubs and small trees.
Life expectancy is 5-10 years.
The degus have very strong hind legs, allowing them to jump up to 1 meter in height, which is quite high for such small rodents.
They are diurnal and live in small groups with clear hierarchies and strong social bonds. During the breeding season, each individual group secures a certain territory and actively protects it.
In nature, degus produce offspring once or twice a year. The pregnancy of the female lasts about 90 days, after which up to 10 cubs are born. The lactation period lasts about 5 weeks, after which the parents begin to feed the young with young grass, which is brought into the burrow.
Species and people
In natural habitats, these animals are considered agricultural pests. They can eat crops cultivated by people, they are able to spoil gardens. Of course, such behavior does not indicate their "harmfulness" in relation to humans, but is only a natural process - the search for food.
Due to their unusual appearance and natural sociability, degus make excellent pets that are quickly tamed and strongly attached to their owners.
If in the wild a predator catches the degus by the tail, the rodent will shed its skin from the tail and run away. The remaining skinless part of the degu's tail gnaws off.
Degu are able to communicate with each other using sounds similar to the twittering of birds.