A nocturnal species, Bennett’s chinchilla rat is a proficient climber, scaling trees and bushes in search of leaves, fruit and the various other plant materials on which it feeds. Bennett’s chinchilla rat appears to be colonial, and lives in relatively high densities in burrows in the ground, or in rock crevices. These burrows are frequently shared with another rodent species, the degu (Octodon degus) (2). Communication between individuals and colonies appears to be facilitated through the production of urine, which is extremely thick, and leaves a reddish brown, strong-smelling deposit (4). Like other small rodents in the region, Bennett’s chinchilla rat is preyed upon by foxes and birds of prey, such as owls (5).
The breeding season of Bennett’s chinchilla rat is unclear, but pregnant females have been found in June and July, and a mother carrying two newborn offspring was encountered in August. This species has been known to live for up to two years and four months in captivity (2).