Saturday, March 22, 2014

Creature Feature #155: Degu

The Degu is a small rodent who makes her home in the semi-arid regions of Chile. She is related to the Chinchilla and the Cavy (guinea pig). A very social creature, living in a communually dug system of burrows. She is even known to share her nest and babies with other females. Much of her day is spent on the surface, where she scrambles amongst the rocks in search of tasty plant matter. The colony keep in contact with one another using an array of vocal signals. Due to her inability to process free sugars, the Degu has been used in studies of diabetes. She has also been used to study the effects of separation anxiety (Degu pups separated too long from their mother develop something akin to ADHD) and Alzheimers.

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