Watch These Viscacha Engage in Heliolatry

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While these rodents may look very similar to rabbits, they are actually part of the same family as chinchillas.  Native to South America, these viscachas live high in the Andes, the longest continental mountain range in the world. Viscacha spent their days grooming and sunning while perched on rocks.

Heliolatry is a concatenation of the Greek words for sun, hēlios, and worship, latreia.  This noun entered the English lexicon around the beginning of the 19th century.  This video from the BBC shows viscacha engaging in heliolatry which means “sun worship”.  The rodents crouch on top of rocks and face the sun, sitting up on their haunches with their paws placed at chest height. With eyes closed and their long ears folded back, the viscachas seem to be in complete bliss as they sunbathe.


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