Cute Pictures Of Hamsters Biography
Hamsters are rodents belonging to the subfamily Cricetinae. The subfamily contains about 25 species, classified in six or seven genera.
Hamsters are crepuscular animals which burrow underground in the daylight to avoid being caught by predators. Their diets include a variety of foods, including dried food, berries, nuts, fresh fruits and vegetables. In the wild, they feed primarily on seeds, fruits and greens, and will occasionally eat burrowing insects. They have an elongated pouch on each side of their heads that extends to their shoulders, which they stuff full of food to be stored, brought back to the colony or to be eaten later.
Hamster behavior varies depending on their environment, genetics, and interaction with people. Because they are easy to breed in captivity, hamsters are often used as laboratory animals. Hamsters have also become established as popular small house pets, and are sometimes accepted even in areas where other rodents are disliked, and their typically solitary nature can reduce the risk of excessive litters developing in households.Although the Syrian hamster or golden hamster (Mesocricetus auratus) was first described scientifically in 1839, researchers were not able to successfully breed and domesticate hamsters until 1939. The entire laboratory and pet populations of Syrian hamsters appear to be descendants of a single brother-sister pairing. These littermates were captured and imported in 1930 from Aleppo [Syria] by Israel Aharoni, a zoologist of the University of Jerusalem. In Jerusalem, the hamsters bred very successfully. Years later, animals of this original breeding colony were exported to the USA, where Syrian hamsters became one of the most popular pets and laboratory animals. Comparative studies of domestic and wild Syrian hamsters have shown reduced genetic variability in the domestic strain. However, the differences in behavioral, chronobiological, morphometrical, hematological and biochemical parameters are relatively small and fall into the expected range of interstrain variations in other laboratory animals.
In 1774, Friedrich Gabriel Sulzer, a companion of Johann-Wolfgang von Goethe, devoted a whole academic monography in the domain of social sciences and natural history to hamsters, entitled "An approach to a natural history of the hamster" ("Versuch einer Naturgeschichte des Hamsters"). In several instances, he used the hamster to document the equal rights of all beings, including Homo sapiens.
The name "hamster" is a loanword from the German, which itself derives from earlier Old High German hamustro. It is possibly related to Old Russian choměstrǔ, which is either a blend of the root of Russian khomiak "hamster" and a Baltic word (cf. Lithuanian staras "hamster") or of Persian origin (cf. Av hamaēstar "oppressor").
Hamsters are typically stout-bodied, with tails shorter than body length, and have small, furry ears, short, stocky legs, and wide feet. They have thick, silky fur, which can be long or short, colored black, grey, honey, white, brown, yellow, red, or a mix, depending on the species. Two species of hamster belonging to the genus Phodopus, Campbell's dwarf hamster (Phodopus campbelli) and the Djungarian hamster (Phodopus sungorus), and two of the genus Cricetulus, the Chinese striped hamster (Cricetulus barabensis) and the Chinese hamster (Cricetulus griseus) have a dark stripe down their heads to their tails. The species of genus Phodopus are the smallest, with bodies 5.5 to 10.5 cm (2.2 to 4.1 in) long; the largest is the European hamster (Cricetus cricetus), measuring up to 34 cm (13.4 in) long, not including a short tail of up to 6 cm (2.4 in). The Angora hamster, also known as the long-haired or teddy bear hamster, which is a type of the golden hamster is the second-largest hamster breed, measuring up to 18 cm (7.1 in) long.
Skeleton of European hamster.
Yawning white Syrian hamster showing large incisors
The hamster tail can be difficult to see, as it is usually not very long (about 1/6 the length of the body), with the exception of the Chinese dwarf hamster, which has a tail the same length as the body. One rodent characteristic that can be highly visible in hamsters is their sharp incisors; they have an upper pair and lower pair which grow continuously throughout life, so must be regularly worn down. Hamsters are very flexible, but their bones are somewhat fragile. They are extremely susceptible to rapid temperature changes and drafts, as well as extreme heat or cold.
Hamsters have poor eyesight; they are nearsighted and colorblind.  To compensate for their poor sight when in unfamiliar territory, hamsters have scent glands on their flanks (and abdomens in Chinese and dwarf hamsters). A hamster rubs these areas of its body against various objects, and leaves a trail of smells to follow to return to its home den. Hamsters also use their sense of smell to identify pheromones and gender, and to locate food. They are also particularly sensitive to high-pitched noises and can hear and communicate in the ultrasonic range.