The fur of the chinchilla is so dense it has the highest concentration of hair per square inch than any other mammal. The ears of a chinchilla take in heat when it is hot and let it flow out like an air conditioner. In cold weather its ears help keep it warm. In the wild, the chinchilla consumes any available vegetation growing at the high elevation of the mountains. In captivity, their diet is supplemented with pellets providing this animal with all the nutrients and minerals it requires. In the wild a chinchilla will usually live for 8 - 10 years. In captivity they can live much longer, more than 20 years.