Where Did Hamsters Come From?

Cheeks puffed, growling, and ready to pick a fight with a barn cat: The black-bellied hamster is a far cry from the domesticated hamster you might have as a pet. Its a good thing these black-bellied hamsters are defending themselves, because in France, where only 500 to 1,000 remain in the wild, these courageous critters are literally fighting for survival.

Do hamsters still live in the wild?

At least 18 species of hamsters can be found living in the wild. They live in a variety of different places, including China, Romania, Greece, Belgium, and most notably, Syria. … These hamsters are known as the Syrian or Golden hamster. Hamsters still live in the wild today, but many species are considered endangered.

How was a hamster created?

They were discovered in 1839 by British zoologist George Robert Waterhouse, who named the animal Mesocricetus auratus, meaning Golden Hair. … All the Syrian hamsters in the pet trade today are said to be descended from a female wild hamster and her litter captured in Aleppo, Syria, in 1930.

But although theyre widely thought to make excellent pets, hamsters are actually very well evolved to live happily in the wild without cages, wheels, toys or owners.

Hamsters have evolved to live happily as wild animals (Picture: Getty)So how do these tiny things survive out in the big, bad world? Hamsters have large incisors on their top and bottom jaws that never stop growing, as well as pointed digits on their hands and feet.

They also carry food which can be anything from nuts, to insects to their own feces (yeah) underground in their enormous cheek pouches. Hamsters wouldnt find cheese out in a desert (Picture: Arterra/UIG via Getty Images)Sadly, they are extremely vulnerable to high or low temperatures and drafts, meaning snowy conditions drive them underground if they manage to burrow down in time.

We know hamsters as cute, furry, lovable pets that live in our homes where it is warm and safe. But not all hamsters are domesticated. Some hamsters live in the wild, just like cougars, tigers, and bears do. They do not have the convenience of living in a protected habitat or being fed all the proper foods that they need for survival. They certainly do not have access to fun toys like pet hamsters do. They have to work for every morsel that they eat, drop of water that they drink, and a safe place that they can sleep. Here are a few other things that you should know about hamsters living in the wild.

As a vegan, Rachael is obsessed with helping animals in need both in her community and anywhere in the world where she feels she can make a difference. She lives off the grid in Hawaii with her husband, her garden, and her rescue animals including 5 dogs, a cat, a goat, and dozens of chickens.

There are 26 species of hamster in the world, but the most well-known by far is the Syrian hamster. They were discovered in 1839 by British zoologist George Robert Waterhouse, who named the animal Mesocricetus auratus, meaning Golden Hair. This is why the Syrian Hamster is commonly known as the Golden Hamster.

Hamsters: From the Wild to Your Bedroom

Cheeks puffed, growling, and ready to pick a fight with a barn cat: The black-bellied hamster is a far cry from the domesticated hamster you might have as a pet. It’s a good thing these black-bellied hamsters are defending themselves, because in France, where only 500 to 1,000 remain in the wild, these courageous critters are literally fighting for survival.

Where Did Your Pet Hamster Come From?

One of the most popular species of pet hamsters in North America and Western Europe is the Syrian, or golden, hamster, which was discovered in the wild in 1797. So how did this hamster get from the Middle East all the way to your bedroom or classroom? Thank zoologist Israel Aharoni. During a 1930 expedition to look for these golden hamsters, he and local Sheikh El-Beled uncovered a golden hamster and her 11 young living 8 feet (2.4 meters) below a wheat field.Aharoni brought the hamsters back to Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The hamsters quickly multiplied, soon finding their way into universities, zoos, and eventually homes around the world.

Where Wild Hamsters Live

At least 18 species of hamsters can be found living in the wild. They live in a variety of different places, including China, Romania, Greece, Belgium, and most notably, Syria. Hamsters were imported into Northern America, where they became domesticated and welcomed as pets by households everywhere. You will not find wild hamsters in the United States because this animal was imported for domestication and was never released to propagate in the wild. These hamsters are known as the Syrian or Golden hamster. Hamsters still live in the wild today, but many species are considered endangered.

How Hamsters Live in the Wild

Wild hamsters live the same lifestyles as pet hamsters by sleeping during the day in burrows they make themselves and hoarding food whenever they possibly can. They prefer to live in dry, desert-like places. Some wild hamster species live in packs and enjoy each other’s company, while others prefer to live alone and will fight to the death with any other hamster that comes near their burrow or food supply.Because they hide in burrows while sleeping during the day, they stay well protected from predators. However, many do succumb to predators at some point. They also may have a hard time finding food at certain times of the year. Therefore, wild hamsters tend to have shorter expected lifespans than domesticated hamsters.

What Wild Hamsters Eat

Hamsters are omnivores and will eat a variety of things that they find in the wild. Grasses and weeds make up most of a wild hamster’s diet. They also eat seeds wherever they can find them. Because they are omnivores, they will eat insects, bugs, lizards, and even frogs when the opportunity arises. However, their meat meals are few and far between. In general, wild hamsters are not picky and will hoard and eat whatever it is that they can get their paws and teeth on.

How Wild Hamsters Differ From Domestic Hamsters

The biggest difference between wild and domestic hamsters is their lifestyle. Wild hamsters fend for themselves, while domestic hamsters have all their needs taken care of for them. Wild hamsters are usually smaller than domestic ones simply because they do not have access to as much food and water. Also, domestic hamsters are open to being handled by humans much more than wild ones are. In fact, wild hamsters likely will not let a human even get close to them. When it comes to looks and nutrition requirements, though, there are not many differences, if any at all, between wild and domestic hamsters.

The Syrian, or Golden

There are 26 species of hamster in the world, but the most well-known by far is the Syrian hamster. They were discovered in 1839 by British zoologist George Robert Waterhouse, who named the animalAll the Syrian hamsters in the pet trade today are said to be descended from a female wild hamster and her litter captured in Aleppo, Syria, in 1930. The animals were taken to a laboratory in Jerusalem for a behavioral study. The lab workers found them friendly and full of character, and very and easy to look after, so some were taken home. Those were probably the first hamsters ever kept as pets.