Last Modified

June 6, 2022 by Umair Shahid

The chinchillas belong to the rodent family. But, do you ever wonder what it means to belong to a family in biology? The taxonomic classification explains how one animal of the animal kingdom relates to other members of this kingdom. I will explain what chinchilla taxonomy classification is. You will come to know how you can understand various behaviors of an animal by knowing their taxonomic classification.  

What is taxonomic classification?

The classification of animals started in the 18th century. Aristotle was a Greek scientist who first introduced placing animals and plants in different groups based on their physical characteristics, habitats, and feeding habits. Later, many scientists used these parameters to develop a biological hierarchy in the animal kingdom.  

The word ”taxonomy” is a Greek word. It means “arranging animals in a group”. This classification was the basis for the taxonomic hierarchy. The taxonomic hierarchy is arranging animals in an order depending on successive levels of their biological classification.

TAXONOMIC RANKS:

To develop a biological hierarchy, biologists use various levels where they arrange organisms based on their occurrence and characteristics. Each step of this hierarchy is called biological rank or category.

Various ranks in taxonomic classification are:

  1. Kingdom
  2. Phylum
  3. Class
  4. Order
  5. Family
  6. Genus
  7. Species

Kingdom:

It is the highest rank in the taxonomic hierarchy. The researchers classify all the living organisms present on the earth into Five kingdoms. The animal kingdom is one of them. Both humans and chinchillas belong to this same kingdom.

The kingdom Animalia has further many divisions based on the symmetry of organisms. The chinchillas are animals of subkingdom Eumetazoa and Metazoa.

Superphylum and Phylum:

This rank is more specific than the kingdom. The kingdom Animalia contains 35 phyla. Before phylum, another taxon called superphylum is present. The general classification usually skips this rank to avoid complications. The chinchillas belong to the superphylum deuterostomes and phylum Chordata. They are craniates, the clade of chordate animals having a skull of hard bones. They belong to the sub-phylum Vertebrates.

Class:

In the early stages, the class was the highest rank in the hierarchy. Before class, there is a rank of the superclass. The chinchillas belong to the superclass Gnathostomata which is the class for jawed vertebrates. The classes in kingdom Animalia are 108. The chinchillas belong to the class Mammalia. They belong to the clade Eutelostomati or the bony vertebrates. Their Subclass is Theria, and Infraclass is Eutherian.

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Order:

The order is more specific taxon than class. The class Mammalia has 26 orders. The chinchillas belong to the order Rodentia, suborder Hystricomorph, and Infraorder Hystricognathi.

Family:

A family is a group that contains many genera. The chinchillas belong to the family Chinchillidae.

Genus:

Similar animal species combine to form a Genus. The chinchillas belong to the genus Chinchilla.

Species:

It is the lowest classification level. Species are the group of organisms that are o closely related that they could interbreed. Their offspring are fertile. The chinchilla genus contains two species. These species are Chinchilla chinchilla for short-tailed chinchillas and Chinchilla lanigera for long-tailed chinchillas.

Frequently asked questions:

  1. To which class do the chinchillas belong?

The chinchillas belong to the class Mammalia. It is the class of organisms that nurse their offspring after giving birth. The chinchilla females produce milk to take care of and feed the kits.

  • What are the genus and species of chinchillas?

The chinchillas belong to the genus ”Chinchilla”. However, there are two species of chinchillas. These species include “Chinchilla” for short-tailed chinchillas and “Lanigera” for long-tailed chinchillas.

Conclusion:

The chinchillas are lovely rodents. They are common pets and are conveniently available to keep at home. The taxonomic classification of your little rodent friend is:

  1. Kingdom: Animalia
  2. Phylum: Chordata
  3. Class: Sarcopterygii
  4. Order: Rodentia
  5. Family: Chinchillidae
  6. Genus: Chinchilla
  7. Species: Chinchilla, Lanigera

This taxonomic classification is very compact. The researchers have now provided even explained taxonomic classification. It explains the phyletic lineage of an animal. It shows us the history of where an animal belongs.  

Author 2

I am a proud veterinarian from Lahore, Pakistan. A passionate animal lover who pursued her passion for animal care as a career.
My eagerness to learn and my love for animals grew stronger even during my teenage days. Having a lovely pet, a German Shepherd, in my home allowed me to bond with animals in the best way.
This bonding with my pet provided me with a firm foundation to research and preach about the best animal care methods.

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