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  • Hi guys, it's Em! Today, I'm doing the start of a brand new series. Yes, the start of a brand new series

  • It's called the Creature Feature!

  • Creature Feature is basically going to be a series where I bring home some of my animals from work

  • and I basically tell you all about them, so I hope you enjoy it!

  • This is the first in the Creature Feature series, and today I want to introduce you to

  • la La La La La

  • This is Olaf! If you haven't subscribed yet, please do hit that subscribe button and become part the Creature Crew

  • and you'll be able to see much more Creature Features every single week

  • I'm going to be introducing you to some other colleagues of mine, such as birds of prey, some bats, and armadillos

  • So if you want to stick around, it's a cool place to be. And his name is Olaf because he loves warm hugs.

  • I know. Just - just let it go.

  • In case you don't know what this gorgeous creature over here is; this is a chinchilla.

  • Where you going Olaf? You're just going to chill there in my arm. Today I am going to mostly be a rock ledge for

  • Olaf over here, Olaf is from my work. So he's not mine

  • He doesn't belong to me, and he was actually bred by one of my colleagues

  • who had a couple of babies a few years ago and Olaf was one of them. Olaf's cousins would come from the Andes. Olaf is

  • about three years old now, but if properly looked after, chinchillas can live anywhere between 11 to 20 years.

  • I know, that's like a really broad spectrum

  • And honestly there is a lot of debate as to how long a Chinchilla can live.

  • I've known them to be as old as seventeen years, but I've also known them to die as young as nine years

  • Just like out of the blue, almost.

  • Great, he's camera-shy. Um these guys are actually "crepuscular." You might not have heard that word before.

  • Crepuscular is basically waking up at twilight. No, not that kind of Twilight.

  • They wake up just before dawn and just before dusk. Basically when it's nice and cool

  • And they will come out in a big group. They actually live in herds. Yeah, just like an elephant, they live in herds.

  • They're very, very social and for that reason you should never keep them on their own. Olaf is never alone

  • he has about five other chinchillas that he can interact with.

  • What are you doing back there Olaf? Do you want to come down?

  • Yeah, thought so. So yeah, not nocturnal - waking up at night. Not diurnal - waking up during the day

  • Crepuscular. Waking up dawn and dusk. They're a true rodent just like their cousin the guinea pig

  • They're constantly having to chew. In the wild, these guys will graze on grasses

  • various twigs and leaves, all this dry matter, and that helps to gnaw down their teeth

  • which are always, always growing because they are a true rodent.

  • *sneezes*

  • I am actually allergic to all animals with fur. Why couldn't someone who didn't like animals be allergic to them. Like, why me?

  • Really why? Why? Their hearing is really mega. Oh, your ears are beautiful, aren't they?

  • Yes. And they can swing those ears forward to really hear things in front of them

  • Or they can flatten them down as well

  • Which can be a sign of stress those ears are also really great for cooling down and you'll notice that

  • There's not much fur over their ears. That helps to keep them cool

  • If they do get hot because as you can imagine these guys can suffer from Heatstroke very, very easily.

  • Here's a fun fact for the girls

  • In the chinchilla world, girls reign supreme!

  • The girls kind of bully the boys quite a bit

  • And they're very, very dominant with the males, so you'll often see

  • chinchillas fighting with each other and just one of the ways they like to fight with each other

  • apart from mounting and trying to show dominance that way

  • Is they actually can shoot very, very strong direct jets of pee at each other.

  • In fact, some chinchillas will do this to people if they're startled, if they're not very well handled yet.

  • That is something that you should be aware of, if you're looking at Chinchillas

  • You know that they they can bite and they can shoot a jet of pee as well. Also just like guinea pigs

  • chinchillas will digest their food twice. They'll eat that hay, poop it out, and then eat it again.

  • It's perfectly normal, don't freak out if you see a chinchilla eating its poo. It's not sick

  • They get sick if they don't eat their poo so just let them eat the poo.

  • I'm so jealous of Olaf's dense fur

  • I mean, I thought my hair was soft, but this is just on another level. They have the softest fur of any mammal

  • Hands-down, that's why it's so prized in

  • Fashion unfortunately people like to turn these guys into

  • Coats, and I really am not okay with that, but that's not going to happen to Olaf

  • Unfortunately it can take up to 150 chinchillas

  • 150 Olafs to make one full-length coat. I want to try and give you guys a really great idea of that

  • fur texture it is just like there is nothing there look at how dense that is. Look how plush and dense.

  • Isn't that - look at that - wow. Now although they're really furry on their bodies their tail is actually quite coarse

  • Their tail is kind of more like a squirrel's tail

  • If you've ever touched a squirrel's tail that fur is so dense that actually they can't have fleas or ticks

  • So they're actually a very, very clean animal and ticks and fleas can't actually

  • Penetrate the fur because it's so thick. In fact you know if I pull out like one of my hairs, or if you pulled out

  • one of your hairs

  • You would have literally one strand of hair right? That's not the same for Olaf. With Olaf

  • If you pulled out like - if you, well not pulled out, but if you sort of ran your fingers through his fur

  • Let me see if I can do it now

  • Just really gently

  • They do sometimes

  • Routinely shed as well you'll notice that if I gently, gently groom - and this is very gently don't

  • Don't freak out. They do shed a lot of fur and from

  • From each hair follicle they can have up to I think it's about sixty hairs, so that's like you

  • pulling out one hair and sixty kind of coming from the same one little dot on your head, the same hair follicle

  • so that is super super dense fur and

  • Because it's so dense, and because of where they live, they can't actually bathe in water

  • They actually bath in dust or like a volcanic dust

  • So if you buy dust in a pet store for a chinchilla

  • And you put it in their enclosure in like a nice heavy dish

  • They'll roll around in it

  • And they will flip around and really just have a great time washing.

  • And that helps them to kind of keep their coat really clean. For a rodent

  • Chinchillas have a really long gestation period. And a gestation period is basically a

  • period of pregnancy. The average gestation period For a chinchilla is a hundred and eleven days.

  • 111 days of Pregnancy for such a small animal is just

  • Wow, and when the babies are born like I remember when Olaf was born - literally not even the size of a ping-pong ball and probably

  • Weighs less than a Ping-pong ball, they're so tiny.

  • They're just basically fluff. In fact, Olaf looks like he's really big and fat

  • But actually Olaf is super skinny

  • They actually, they're just all fluff and most people when they feel them, they basically disappear

  • It feels like you're touching nothing and just touching clouds.

  • Magical chinchilla-like clouds. Because chinchillas live in these rocky crevices during the day where it's nice and cool to escape the sun

  • And the predators, they actually have this remarkable ability to be able to sleep in almost any position

  • They can - because of the nature of jaggedy rocks, they can actually sleep upside down

  • or on their side or

  • Leaning forward or even standing up vertically. They are really, really interesting animals.

  • They're so well adapted to their environment. Although chinchillas don't have, you know, any claws in order to fight back

  • they do have a few defense mechanisms. So, apart from being able to bite and apart from being able to

  • Projectile shoot pee as we discussed earlier, they can run super fast

  • Don't let Olaf fool you. He is not a slow

  • chilled-out animal if he's in trouble. He could bolt and you would not be able to catch him for dust. He'd just be like

  • Like a race car. There's also one other thing they can do in order to protect themselves

  • They can turn their backs on you and make you feel like you're really boring

  • Thanks, Olaf. Chinchillas have the remarkable ability to perform

  • What is called the Fur Slip. And

  • Basically imagine my hand is the talon of a bird of prey coming down to grab him from the sky

  • so if I don't have a good enough grip and I

  • close, they can actually blow a bit of their coat. Big chunks of their fur just come flying off like almost

  • Instantaneously. Literally these huge clumps

  • It's almost like you've just like got a pair of scissors

  • pulled up a whole lot of fur and snipped it, that's exactly what it looks like and

  • That means that they can sometimes wriggle away to safety even after they've been grabbed. So yeah, really cool. The Fur Slip.

  • Thank you guys so much for watching and I will see you for another Creature Feature very, very soon. Bye! Say bye Olaf! Bye!

  • Pssst, don't forget to subscribe!

Hi guys, it's Em! Today, I'm doing the start of a brand new series. Yes, the start of a brand new series

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B1 UK olaf fur chinchilla creature dense gestation

CHINCHILLA | CREATURE FEATURE | OLAF THE CHINCHILLA

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    Boyeee posted on 2018/09/13
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