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Chinchilla

Chinchilla

The chinchilla is a good laboratory animal model because of its small size and long life span (12 to 20 years). These animals have been used as models for the study of hearing because they respond to pure tones and they have the same middle-ear anatomy and nervous system connections as humans. This makes chinchillas an excellent model for the common but painful problem of childhood middle-ear infections. The results of this research have begun to be applied in clinical studies in children.

Chinchillas were also used in the 1940's and 1950's to develop a vaccine for cholera, a disease which once was epidemic. In addition, they have been useful to the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on sleep research now applied to assisting astronauts in their missions.

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