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Chinchilla Color Mutations

Chinchillas come with various color and the original is Grey or commonly known as "Standard". Besides standard, there are beige, black and white. All three are classified as incompletely dominant mutations. That is, when bred to standards, half of the offspring should be the same color as the mutant parent - beige, black, or white - and half should be standard (in theory). Standard Grey make up 90% of the chinchilla population. Because mutations are not as readily avaliable, and fewer are raised and the most unusual colors are very expensive. To have a good understanding of chinchilla color mutants, take a look at this

Standard - Most chin owner have a grey, commonly known as "standard". It is the original and most prevalent color. Their fur coat vary in shading ranging from pale grey to almost black. They have black eyes, grey ears and black paws with white belly. Standard having a black belly is an ebony carrier.

White - The first really important color mutant sensation, a white male, born on a ranch in 1955 in North Carolina. Also know as Wilson White. Their fur coat may appear to be pure white. White offspring may also produce a mosaic or a white with a few to a lot of grey hairs mixed in. When enough grey hairs are present in a chin, it is known as silver. They have grey ears (not as black as the standards'), black eyes, white paws and white belly. These color mutations have a lethal factor; thus white cannot breed with white, as well as pink white, mosaic and silver.

Pink White - Very similar to Wilson White, but they got pink ears, and reddish eyes. An occasional result of breeding a Wilson White to beige. The offspring of this pair may have patches of beige on head and body, and these kind of offspring are known as Golden Mosaic.

Heterozygous Beige - Another important mutation is a beige female born September 29, 1955 on the Oregon ranch of Ned Jensen. Jensen, thinking unable to reproduce its color, sold this week animal to a nearby rancher, Nick Tower, and he was successfully breed a healthy beige male. Beige mutations - known as "Crown of Sunset Beige" - have coat of light cream to dark beige. They have red eyes, pink ears, white paw and white belly.

Homozygous Beige - Similar to Hetero beige, but they have a lighter cream color coat. Their eyes appear to be pale pink with white iris rather than a reddish eyes. Most important, Homo beige having two dominant genes while hetero beige have one dominant and one recessive. They are least available in pet stores and ranches.

Black Velvet - In 1956, a rancher named Bob Gunning in the state of Washington had a standard grey chin. This chin is unusually dark around her eyes and mouth. He then able to extend the dark patches of coloring on the face all the way down the grotzen. This new color mutation are called the Gunning Black, or commonly known as Black Velvet. Its dark color start from its back and getting lighter to the belly. They have black eyes, grey ears, black paws and white belly. Same as a white pair, black velvet cannot mate to black velvet because of the lethal factor.

Brown Velvet - Or velvet beige. A dark beige with a velvety brown head and grotzen. Haven't got any information when this color mutation appeared. Probably the same year of having the first black velvet, 1956, because brown velvet was an offspring of breeding a black velvet to beige. It has a fur coat from light brown (similar to beige) to very dark brown. Dark violet to brown upper side and lighter underside similar to the black velvet's 'style'. They have reddish eyes, pink ears and white belly. You can expect no offspring from a pair of brown velvets. Same as white pair and black pair, they usually cannot produce healthy offspring because of a lethal factor.

Ebony - The most obviouse appearance of an ebony is that it got a black stomach. Which means, ebony has a very shiny silky jet-black coat over its entire body, including its stomach. Ebonies are recessive mutations. Other color such as standard, white, or beige will consider being an ebony carrier if they got a black stomach. Ebonies have black eyes, black ears, black paws and black belly. If you want to own an ebony, be prepared to spend more money. They are very rear to see in pet stores and chinchilla ranches.

Tan - Ebony is not necessary to be all black. They can be coat with brown color too. Brown ebony or, commonly Tan, has a very shiny brown coat over its entire body, including its stomach. Same as ebonies, they are recessive mutations. They have red eyes and pink ears and pink paws. Again, they are rare to see in pet store. Result of breeding a beige to a ebony.

Charcoal - These recessive mutations are very similar to black ebonies. They are coated with dark over its entire body, but they will not appear to be shinny. Their fur is not as silky as the ebonies' but they are still very beautiful and cute. Moreover, its black coat is a bit duller than the ebonies'. They can be less expensive than the ebonies.

Sapphires - The only information I know about this recessive color mutation is that they are coated with dark blue grey fur. Having grey ears and black eyes and of course they are absolutely cute and beautiful and rare to see. Hopefully I can get some more information and add on it.

Violet - The newest recessive mutations. The first violets were born on a ranch in Rhodesia, Africa in the mid of 1960's, and later flown to California. The herd is currently located on the Loyd Sullivan ranch in California, they are sometimes known as Sullivan Violets. Their body was covered with a very light grey fur coat and so make them into a very light purple color with a clear white belly.