Interesting facts about hamsters

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We found 22 interesting facts about hamsters

One of the most popular pets

This cute animal usually appears in our homes as the first animal for children, who through communication with it learn responsibility, sensitivity and learn about the animal world. Hamsters are very gentle and sensitive animals, but at the same time very independent, brave, curious and active.

1

Hamsters are small rodents belonging to the hamster family.

This is a subfamily of rodents of the hamster family, including about 300 species. These include: house mouse, wood mouse, Mongolian slider and others, which are distant relatives of hamsters.
2

Most hamsters are desert and semi-desert animals, some native to Syria, others from northern China.

However, some species thrive in meadows and forests, such as the European hamster, which can also be found in Poland in its natural environment, but is predominantly a breeding species.
3

Farm hamsters have their wild ancestors.

Although they have evolved in many parts of the world, many spend most of their lives underground to protect themselves from predators and unfavorable temperatures. They are adapted to such a life thanks to short strong legs, a compact body structure and very thick fur (Roborovsky's hamster).
4

All hamsters are small animals, and the largest of them is the European hamster.

Hamsters have short legs and tails. The tail, ears and paws are covered with thick fur, which is even thicker on other parts of the body.
5

Hamsters have 16 teeth.

In front, in the upper and lower jaws, there are two incisors (4 in total), which are constantly growing. They have no roots, so they risk falling out. The front part of the incisors is covered with very highly mineralized yellow enamel. In addition to the incisors, these rodents have six permanent non-growing teeth (molars) at the border of the cheek pouches. Molars have roots, and these teeth are susceptible to tooth decay. Due to continuous growth, the incisors must be systematically worn down by eating hard foods.
6

Hamsters have distinctive cheek pouches located on either side of their lips.

They can stretch so much that when full they exceed twice the circumference of the head. This allows these rodents to obtain food far from their burrow and transport supplies over considerable distances. They are an extension of the hamsters' mouth. They are connected to the throat, but are separated from it at the back by a thin membrane. The cheek pouches are emptied by rubbing them with the forelimbs.
7

Hamsters have a number of senses, more or less developed.

Hamsters are farsighted, their eyes see very blurry. The eyes are located on the sides of the head, so their field of vision has a very wide range (about 110 degrees).
8

They have very well developed hearing.

They hear not only the range that humans hear, but also the supersonic range. Hamsters can isolate themselves from the sounds of the outside world thanks to the ability to place their ears on their body - during sleep they fold their ears.
9

The most important sense that hamsters use is their sense of smell, which is highly developed.

Hamsters mark their territory and the routes they follow in search of food with a special scent emitted by their scent glands. Thanks to this, they can easily find their way back to the nest. Hamsters also recognize their owners on the farm by smell. If this natural odor is disturbed, for example by perfume, the rodent may attack.
10

Hamsters have whiskers—sensory whiskers—that help them navigate in the dark.

Their whiskers also allow them to move between obstacles.
11

The hamster's stomach consists of two chambers.

The first chamber is keratinized, it looks like the vestibule of the stomach. The second is the stomach itself, also called the glandular stomach. The chambers are separated by a strong muscular constriction. In the first chamber, food is more fragmented and decomposed due to the microorganisms it contains. In the second chamber, food is further broken down by enzymes and undergoes final digestion.
12

Hamsters are omnivores by nature; they eat both plant and meat foods.

In their natural habitat, they happily feed on grains and grass, but at the first opportunity they will also eat insects.
13

Hamsters have extremely dexterous front paws.

They make excellent use of their toes when eating or cleaning themselves.
14

More than 20 different species of hamsters are known, differing in body shape and color depending on the natural conditions of the region in which they live.

There are three main types of hamsters kept in homes: Syrian, Chinese and dwarf hamsters.
15

The Syrian hamster is the largest of the domestic hamsters.

Usually its size is 15-20 cm, and its weight is 150-200 g. It can have different colors and types of fur. This is the most common type of hamster that can be found in pet stores.
16

Chinese hamsters, although they resemble dwarf hamsters, can reach a length of up to 12 cm.

They also have a slightly longer tail than other hamsters. They come in two colors: regular and with a white spot on the pattern.
17

Dwarf hamsters are native to China and Russia.

Among them are the following: Campbell's hamster, Djungarian hamster and Roborovsky's hamster (the smallest of the domestic hamsters, about 5 cm in size).
18

Hamsters are nocturnal.

Many of these rodents' ancestors operated only at night to protect themselves from predators and the heat of the day.
19

Pregnancy in hamsters is very short - in some species it lasts even less than 20 days.

The Syrian hamster has 16 days, the Chinese hamster has 18-23 days, and the Roborovsky hamster has 22-30 days.
20

Hamsters have the ability to hibernate.

Wild animals sometimes fall into deep sleep when ambient temperatures drop to extreme levels or when food supplies run low.
21

A natural method of cleaning a hamster's fur in the wild is a sand bath.

Hamsters do not like water baths. Water washes away valuable and important oils from their fur that protect the skin from infections.
22

Hamsters often freeze in place. They suddenly stop what they are doing and listen.

Most often this is caused by fear.

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