Hamsters are one of the most popularly domesticated pets around the world. They are small rodent that belongs to the subfamily Cricetinae and its scientific name is Mesocricetus auratus. Further, hamster got their name from the old German word “hamstern”, which means stored, or related to storing food. They were first discovered in Aleppo, Syria – one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world.
Varieties of hamsters
Hamsters have different colors, depending on their species. They could be gray, black, white, honey, red, yellow or it could be a mix of these colors. The most noticeable characteristic about hamsters is their sharp, two front teeth. These teeth don’t stop growing and it is necessary for them to regularly worn down with chewable toys on a regular basis. All hamsters have poor eyesight and they are colorblind. In fact, they can only see clearly within six inches in front of them. However, to compensate for their poor eyesight, they have scent glands that will allow them to leave smell trails.
Unique ability for the hamster
Another unique characteristic of the hamsters is they are be able to slow down their heart beat during winter, from 400 beats to 4 beats per minute. Hamsters sleep during the day and are active and fully awake at night. Hamsters are perfect pets since they can be taught to come by calling their name. They can also hear ultrasonic sound. They can remember their family members and relatives, and they can squeeze into tight places, making them escape artists. On the other hand, the breeding season of hamsters is April all the way to September.
However, it could be regulated
If you keep them in the light for 8 hours a day, they will breed all throughout the year. You could also determine the sex of the baby hamsters by changing the room temperature of the mother hamster. Cooler temperature will lead to females and warmer temperatures will lead to males. Moreover, it is known that when a mother hamster feels some disturbance while giving birth, she may eat her babies just to save them from harm. However, if her babies were a week old already, most likely, the mother will not eat them.
Stuffing their cheek with food
Additionally, hamsters have the ability to stuff their cheeks with food. It can pack more food in its cheek that it could extend behind its shoulder blades. They could even use them to help them float when swimming. Hamsters are perfect pets. They are disease-free and they breed easily and rapidly. Because of this, they are popular choices for laboratory research pets.