The common degu (Octodon degus; /ˈdeɪɡuː/) is a small caviomorph rodent endemic to the Chilean matorral ecoregion of central Chile. The name "degu" on its own indicates either the entire genus Octodon or, more likely, O. degus. Common degus are in the parvorder Caviomorpha of the infraorder Hystricognathi, along with the chinchilla and guinea pig. The word "degu" comes from the indigenous language of Chile, Mapudungun dewü (mouse, rat). The animal may be kept as a pocket pet.
The common degu is a small animal with a body length of 25.0 to 31.0 cm (9.8–12.2 in) and a weight of 170 to 400 g (6.0 to 14.1 oz). It has yellow-brown fur above and creamy-yellow below, with yellow around the eyes and a paler band around the neck. It has a long, thin tail with a tufted, black tip, dark sparsely furred ears, and pale grey toes. Its fifth toe is small with a nail, rather than a claw, on the fore feet. Its hind feet are bristled. Its cheek teeth are shaped like figures-of-eight, hence the degu's genus name Octodon.
Common degus are highly social. They live in burrows, and, by digging comm...