Where Do Hamsters Live?

This is a question that more than 4792 of our readers have been asking us! Luckily, we have found the most appropriate information for you!

I’m staring out the window again, seeking a burst of inspiration. The words are just not flowing. But fortunately, in my job, I can always look for story ideas in nature.

In 1930, biologist Israel Aharoni decided to launch an expedition near the ancient city of Aleppo to find this almost-mythical creature. As Rob Dunn writes in a great story in Smithsonian Magazine , one of Aharoni’s main projects was matching animal descriptions in the Torah to existing creatures. Anyone who has spent much time on research trips knows there can occasionally be someone who constantly complains about the food and lodging, sulks every morning and fights with fellow travelers. Photo © Bullet / Wikimedia Commons Most sources state that your pet hamster can trace its lineage back to Aharoni’s expedition. Photo © Rubund / Wikimedia Commons Winter white dwarf hamsters were first identified by eminent Russian scientist Peter Simon Pallas. Photo © Sphoo / Wikimedia Commons Habitat conversion received a lot of blame, but there is a really intriguing twist. Researcher Mathilde Tissier noted that hamster populations declined as agricultural fields were converted to corn production. As an article in Smithsonian notes , “The corn-earthworm combo was not deficient in energy, protein or minerals, and the corn did not contain dangerous levels of chemical insecticide.” Basically, “Corn binds vitamin B3, or niacin, so that the body cannot absorb it during digestion.” The hamsters were not getting proper nutrients, and were eating their young. For instance, many sources claim hamsters run five or more miles a night on their wheels, but I’ve found no actual evidence. Photo © Mylius / Wikimedia Commons So Diggy and I share a hobby in running, and seemingly achieve similar benefits .

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.

What does a hamster live in?

In the wild they like to live in warm, dry areas, like sand dunes or the edge of deserts, which explains why the first hamsters were discovered in Syria. They also live in the wild in more diverse countries, such as Greece, Romania, Belgium and northern China.

When did hamsters become pets?

The Hamster has a fairly short history as a pet. The Syrian hamster was first brought to the United States in 1938, and by 1946 they were very popular pets here.

What does a hamster eat?

Commercial hamster pellets (not a muesli-style mix). You can buy these in pet shops..Small amounts of fresh fruit, vegetables or herbs..Timothy hay. ….Occasional treats, like nuts, boiled egg or mealworms..You hamster will also need constant access to clean, fresh water.

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

In the wild they like to live in warm, dry areas, like sand dunes or the edge of deserts, which explains why the first hamsters were discovered in Syria. 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 wouldn’t 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.

A great many children growing up in places like Canada and the U.S. have had the experience of caring for a hamster, possibly even as their very first pet. But where do these lovable little creatures originally come from? Where do they live in the wild?

The first known wild hamsters can be traced back to countries such as Syria, Belgium, portions of northern China, Greece, and Romania. Living alone in the wilderness these small rodents made their homes in warm, dry places such as near deserts and sand dune structures. In the wild hamsters subsist on a diet composed of small animals such as frogs, lizards, and a variety of insects.

The Quest for the Golden Hamster

There are 18 species of wild hamsters (maybe more, depending on the taxonomist you ask). All species are nocturnal, hoard food and live in burrows. Some live relatively solitary lives and some are social. They all look pretty cute, but many are actually quite aggressive and ill-suited as pets.The hamster that got the pet craze going, the Syrian hamster, is actually one of the rarest. While there are some inconsistencies in the various accounts of the pet hamster’s backstory, the main expedition is well documented.The Syrian hamster had been collected by explorers a couple of times, but remained a poorly understood animal. It was known as a rodent with soft, golden fur. In 1930, biologist Israel Aharoni decided to launch an expedition near the ancient city of Aleppo to find this almost-mythical creature.Aharoni is an interesting figure in his own right. As Rob Dunn writes in a great story in Smithsonian Magazine, one of Aharoni’s main projects was matching animal descriptions in the Torah to existing creatures. He had heard the stories of the “golden hamster,” an animal whose Arabic name translates to “Mr. Saddlebags” for its roomy cheek pouches.By most accounts, Aharoni did not enjoy travel or adventure. Anyone who has spent much time on research trips knows there can occasionally be someone who constantly complains about the food and lodging, sulks every morning and fights with fellow travelers. Aharoni was that guy. And he was leading a difficult trip to find a creature that may or may not still exist in the wild. It does not sound like a roaring good time.But Aharoni persisted, in part to find another creature from the Torah and in part to find a better hamster species for medical research (the Chinese hamster was used in laboratories, but it wouldn’t breed, so new animals had to be constantly collected from the wild).Aided by a local hunter, the expedition finally located a litter of wild Syrian hamsters. This began a series of trials and tribulations for the newly captured hamsters. It is somewhat amazing they ever became popular pets. Soon after the hamsters were contained, the mother hamster started eating her young – a preview of a habit that would horrify generations of hamster owners.Some hamsters escaped. Some died. But enough of that litter survived to found a breeding colony for research. Those animals bred so well, in fact, that they became the founders of a pet industry.Wild Syrian hamsters remain exceedingly rare and elusive. According to Dunn, only three scientific expeditions have observed this species in the wild, the last in 1999.

A Hamster of Another Color

Most sources state that your pet hamster can trace its lineage back to Aharoni’s expedition. Because all hamsters collected on that trip were from the same litter, this means that pet hamsters show signs of inbreeding, including heart conditions.This is mainly but not entirely true. One subsequent expedition did collect more Syrian hamsters, which also made their way into the pet trade in 1971.However, there have also been several other hamster species that have become popular pets. My son’s pet, for instance, is not related to the hamsters captured by Aharoni.Diggy is a winter white dwarf hamster (Winter white dwarf hamsters were first identified by eminent Russian scientist Peter Simon Pallas. Pallas’s name may be recognizable to natural history nerds and birders who know the species named after him, including the Pallas’s gull (and five other bird species), Pallas’s cat and even a type of meteorite known as pallasite. Fortunately, the hamster did not get his name, as he initially identified it as a mouse.In the wild, the winter white dwarf hamster changes coat color from brown to white, to provide camouflage from predators in winter – much like snowshoe hares. The molt begins in September and lasts a couple of months. Domestic hamsters like Diggy are white year round.These hamsters are more social than the Syrian hamsters, which makes them more docile in captivity. While we’ve only had Diggy for a short period of time, she’s already quite friendly. In fact, whenever I’ve stalled writing this story, I’ve picked her up and she runs up and down my arms, providing suitable inspiration to press on.

The Plight of European Hamsters

Hamsters may be thriving in homes around the world. In the wild, it’s often a different story. The European hamster is one of the most widespread of the species. It has never been considered pet material, as this species is relatively large and aggressive. In one experiment, captive-bred European hamsters, when presented with a caged ferret, attempted to mob and attack it. The main use of this species by humans is a disturbing one: They were trapped for fur coats. But better regulation (and hopefully, more responsible fashion tastes), allowed the hamster populations to rebound.But then European hamsters faced an even more significant population decline. The hamsters are not endangered, but their population trend reveals something all too common today: abundant animals becoming much less abundant. A paper published in the journalHabitat conversion received a lot of blame, but there is a really intriguing twist. Researcher Mathilde Tissier noted that hamster populations declined as agricultural fields were converted to corn production. When she fed captive hamsters a diet of corn and earthworms similar to what wild hamsters would find in a cornfield, she found something highly distressing: Almost all hamsters ate their litters, every time. As an article inTissier’s research led her to a disease called pellagra, caused by too much corn intake. Basically, “Corn binds vitamin B3, or niacin, so that the body cannot absorb it during digestion.” The hamsters were not getting proper nutrients, and were eating their young.Many have blamed the plight of the hamster on loss of habitat and pesticides, which may certainly play a role. But one of the big cause was a change in diet resulting from new agricultural practices. There’s a lesson here for all conservationists: there may be more going on in wildlife declines than meets the eye.However, one area where European hamsters are doing well are in cities. Urban parks in Vienna and other cities have become known for their colonies of hamsters, and are often the best places for naturalists to see this species.

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Hamster History

The first known wild hamsters can be traced back to countries such as Syria, Belgium, portions of northern China, Greece, and Romania. Living alone in the wilderness these small rodents made their homes in warm, dry places such as near deserts and sand dune structures.According to the Louisiana Veterinary Medical Association, hamsters transported from Syria to the U.S way back in 1936 became known as some of the first domesticated species of hamster. Interestingly the word hamster is derived from the German word “hamstern” which means to hoard. This is an apt description of the way in which these little creatures hoard food not only in their homes but also in terms of the way in which they stuff food into pouches in their cheeks.

Characteristics of Hamsters

Much like other rodents hamsters are characterized by their small bodies, short tails, and tiny ears, Their fur comes in a wide variety of colors and shades including black, yellow, white, brown, grey, or a mixture of these colors.There are presently about twenty four different hamster species which vary in size. European varieties, for example, can measure just over thirteen inches in length. On the opposite side of the spectrum so called dwarf hamsters may only grow two to four inches. The species most commonly purchased as a pet, the Syrian/teddy bear/golden variety of hamster, usually reaches about six inches in length.Hamsters can be gentle by nature but have been known to bite especially when startled or unexpectedly awoken. The little rodents must also cope with poor eyesight which forces them to rely on their sense of smell which is used to pick up the smell from their scent glands located on their backs.

Behavior of Hamsters

As a nocturnal animal hamsters prefer to be active during the night time hours. Wild hamsters dig a series of tunnels which provides them with enough living space to spend most of their time. The tunnels also serve to accommodate food storage and an environment large enough for breeding purposes. Living under the earth also provides the small rodents with a cooler temperature in an otherwise hot climate. When it becomes too cold outside wild hamsters will opt to hibernate inside their carefully constructed tunnels.In terms of getting along with one another some hamster species, such as the dwarf, are social while others, like the Syrian, are territorial and prefer being alone.

Diet of Hamsters

In the wild hamsters subsist on a diet composed of small animals such as frogs, lizards, and a variety of insects.

Gladys Chism
I stay high because it doesn't hurt from up here. I would like to be remembered as a man who had a wonderful time living life Social media fanatic. Problem solver. Troublemaker. Bacon buff. Professional zombie geek. Lifelong tv junkie. Interests: Embroidery, Genealogy, Wine Tasting
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