It typifies not only the genus Chinchilla, but the family Chinchillidae, for the distinctive features of which see RODENTIA.
VISCACHA, or BISCACHA, a large South American burrowing rodent mammal belonging to the family Chinchillidae and commonly known as Lagostomus trichodactylus, although some writers prefer the name Viscacia.
The family, Chinchillidae, typified by the wellknown chinchilla, includes a small number of South American rodents with large ears and proportionately great auditory bullae in the skull, elongated hind-limbs, bushy tails, very soft fur and perfect clavicles.
Of the remaining families of the Simplicidentata, all are southern, the cavies (Caviidae), chinchillas (Chinchillidae), and degus (Octodontidae) being Central and South American, while the Capromyidae are common to southern America and Africa, and the Ctenodactylidae are exclusively African.
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