In the past years chinchillas have become very popular pets, especially among children. In spite of this, many people still don't know what is a chinchilla. Chinchillas are rabbit-sized, crepuscular rodents native to the Andes mountains in South America. Along with their relatives, viscachas, they belong to the family Chinchillidae. According to their scientific classification they belong to the kingdom Animalia, phylum Chordata, class Mammalia, order Rodentia, family Chinchillidae, genus Chinchilla. There are two living species of chinchilla, Chinchilla brevicaudata and Chinchilla lanigera. There is little noticeable difference between the species except that the Chinchilla brevicaudata has a shorter tail, a thicker neck and shoulders, and shorter ears. This species is currently facing extinction. The Chinchilla lanigera species, though rare, can be found in the wild. Domestic chinchillas are thought to come from the lanigera species. The Giant Chinchilla species has been hunted to extinction.