Many species of animals that live in forests or naturally green habitats can climb trees. Some of those animals include koalas, bears, geckos, squirrels, and monkeys. Tree-dwelling for them is a crucial aspect of survival.
Typically, when we think of tree-hugging animals, most of us automatically conjure up a monkey’s image on a tree in our heads.
Although many types of animals have that ability, monkeys are the most famous, and probably the best, tree-climbers of them all. Chinchillas are another species that can climb trees.
So, do Chinchillas climb trees like a monkey? Read on to find out!
Do Chinchillas Climb Trees Like A Monkey
Chinchillas and monkeys climb trees in entirely different ways, using different mechanisms and depending on other parts of their bodies.
Trees offer animals an essential way of survival.
They depend on trees for escaping predators, shelter during extreme weather conditions, protecting their young, and storing their food.
That’s why it’s essential for these kinds of animals to be able to climb a tree easily and quickly whenever they need to.
How Do Animals Climb Trees
Several mechanisms and adaptations allow each of these animals to adapt to tree-climbing and surviving in their habitat, even if they do so in different ways.
Some of these adaptations include strong claws and the ability to attach firmly to the surface of trees. They also have prehensile tails that act as third arms for climbing and gliding membranes, as can be seen with flying squirrels.
As an example, let’s explore what different body parts each of the Chinchillas and monkeys use while climbing trees.
The Chinchilla is a type of rodent, living mainly in the high altitudes of the Andes Mountains in South America.
Those charming creatures can climb anything from trees to rocks to any other structure if it’ll offer them safety from predators. Both of those animals can climb trees with ease and fantastic speed. However, with a closer look, you’ll find drastic differences between them in size and shape.
Chinchillas depend mainly on the sprint in their legs to climb trees and attach to surfaces, whereas monkeys use their long shoulders and tails.
Chinchillas also happen to be excellent tree climbers. Their natural habitat is made up of mostly rocks and rough edges, but it also provides a significant number of trees for them to climb. This explains why Chinchillas are very well-adapted to climbing over any type of surface.
Their bodies are much smaller than those of monkeys. They don’t have long, flexible, nor strong arms to depend on for tree-climbing. They don’t have opposable thumbs to grab on branches.
They do, however, depend on their hind legs and the spring they provide to climb trees.
Though their tails aren’t as long or as strong as the prehensile tails that many monkeys possess, they still manage to offer them significant balance as they land on the objects they jump on.
Because of the spring in their legs, Chinchillas can jump from one object to another and can cover vast distances in a very short time.
A monkey’s body is adapted to be naturally strong and flexible to outrun most of its predators. When climbing trees, monkeys depend mainly on their long arms and legs to move upwards.
They make their way up a tree by grabbing firmly at the tree’s trunk and branches. They also have opposable thumbs just like humans, which allow for firmer grips and easier transitions from one branch to the other.
Many monkeys have long tails that have been adapted to grab objects. Those adapted tails are called prehensile tails.
Monkeys with prehensile tails can use them as a third arm, allowing them to grab at branches and swing from them and offer better flexibility and balance. Those tails would also facilitate climbing up the tree trunks themselves to reach the top.
Contrary to inaccurate representations of wildlife, monkeys can’t swing between different trees. They can grab branches and use them to climb upwards within the same tree, but they don’t use them to travel across large distances.
That particular ability requires larger bodies and more muscular shoulders, which monkeys don’t possess.
Interestingly and despite all the adaptations they have for tree-climbing, most monkeys can’t climb the banana trees.
Those trees don’t have any branches, and try as they might, monkeys can’t move up a tree without something to grab on. However, those trees aren’t that tall, and monkeys can still jump and grab enough bananas to sustain them.
How Important Is Climbing To A Chinchilla
Whether in its natural habitat or a specifically-acclimated home, Chinchillas must have enough space to run and several different surfaces and branches of trees to climb and jump on.
They’re some of the most active and energetic creatures you can ever come across. Without the freedom to run around and climb on things, Chinchillas can become very stressed and maybe even aggressive.
Chinchillas can be trained to be pets. They can learn to become very affectionate and obedient to their owners.
However, their owner must provide a large cage that mimics Chinchillas’ original habitat and allows it to express its natural behavior and its love for climbing.
Chinchillas have become relatively popular options for pets. That’s why it’s become very easy for people interested in owning them to find specially-designed climbing toys that can be added to Chinchilla cages to make their transition into domestic life more comfortable.
Wildlife and mother nature will never cease to amaze us. There are millions of different animal species, each with its abilities and its adaptations that allow it to survive in its competitive habitat.
Tree-hugging animals all have body parts that allow them to climb trees, which offers them a considerable survival advantage.
Each of those animals can climb, using its own methods, and not all of them share the same adaptations or body parts, as we’ve seen with monkeys and chinchillas.