Degu

Basic Information:

Scientific Name: Octodon degus

Habitat: Degus are found along coastal and central scrubland on the lower western slope of the Andes Mountains of Chile.

Diet: Degus are strictly herbivores. They feed on the leaves, bark, and seeds of shrubs and green grasses and thistle seeds.

Size: 0.5 to 0.6 feet long

Weight: 0.6 to 1.1 pounds

Lifespan: 6 to 8 years

Distribution Map:

I.U.C.N. Conservation Status:

What does this mean?

Least Concern – a species determined by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (I.U.C.N.) to be pervasive, abundant, and thriving.

Our Degus:

Betty White* (Female) – Estimated Birthdate August 2021
Bea Arthur (Female) – Estimated Birthdate August 2021
Rue (Female) – Estimated Birthdate August 2021

*Betty White is a blue pied degu.

Did You Know?!

  • Degus are social and tend to live in groups of one to two males and two to five related females. Females help to raise each other’s young.
  • Degus are highly vocal and use various calls to communicate with one another.
  • A degu’s vision is very important in their avoidance of predators and in foraging. It has been shown that degus are able to see ultraviolet wavelengths!
  • Degus have an interesting way of escaping predators. If the tail is caught, a degu may spin until the skin comes loose or tail comes off.