Following are 10 interesting facts about these marvelous species.
- Have an inveterate tendency to hoard food in pouches or sacs of their cheeks. This is why they’re called hamsters (terminology derived from ‘Hamstern’-the German word for hoarding).
- Essentially wild animals, they’re very gregarious, and hence can be easily domesticated & trained to perform various tricks as well as respond when called out by names.
- They are neither diurnal nor nocturnal, but actually crepuscular signifying that they’re on the go during dusk.
- Total of 24 species that come in an extensive variety of sizes with the largest being 34cms, while the dwarf i.e. the smallest hamster measuring up to 5.5-10.5cm long.
- Are omnivorous and consume everything from nuts, grains, seeds to lizards, frogs and insects.
- Since their incisors grow constantly, they’ve to keep on munching all the time to prevent their teeth from outgrowing them.
- Hamsters pups don’t get to see the light of the day until they’re two weeks old.
- Champion breeders, with the sows (female hamster) sometimes giving birth to 24 pups at one go where the average delivery rate is about 7 pups.
- Golden Hamster, a breed native to Syria, and also the most admired of all breeds, is fiercely territorial and may even kill other hamsters entering or sharing its territory.
- They’ve very poor eyesight and rely more on their olfactory nerves compared to optic nerves for moving from one place to another.
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