note that at the time of posting this here, my comments are not showing up so might be hidden until approved by the blog owners.
Edit: in case my comments got lost somehow, here is what I posted on one of them:
Studying the rodents found in South America (for fun) I noticed that there are different species and subspecies of "chinchilla rats" so your mystery rodent could also be a chinchilla rat but a different species. I am posting here to ask a simple question you might know the answer to: is there any legal way to aquire some wild degus (to be brought to Canada)? I know there is a long-standing ban on exporting wildlife from South America but on Rachel's blog page http://everywhereiroam.blogspot.com/2010/06/new-adventure.html is some captive degus and thought they might have been moved out of the country and if so woud likely have been done through legal channels. My purpose is I intend to do some private research on degu vocalizations and while doing so, sell ones with color genes for pets but these colored degus have been inbred to the point of being unhealthy so wanted to out-breed with some native females to get the best mitochondrial DNA (past on from mothers) along with regular DNA genetic variation. You can answer here or email -- me at annvole dot com -- (with @ and . of course)