Science Art: Chinchilla, Webster’s New International Dictionary, 1911

Behold a crepuscular rodent. In this case, I suppose, a fractional crepuscular rodent. (That means they like going out at dusk and dawn… creatures of what photographers call “the magic hour.”)

I suppose most people know Chinchillidae for their fur. Like guinea pigs, they were originally used by humans in South America, only for coats rather than barbecues. They never really caught on as pets, though there are some fans out there.

Wikipedia also tells me those big ears have made them useful for scientists, who study the auditory system using chinchillas as models. What?

Image from Webster’s New International Dictionary of the English Language, 1911, G & C Miriam Co. Springfield, MA, found here.