Wild Brothers Of Domestic Hamsters

Wild Brothers Of Domestic Hamsters

All domestic hamsters were once wild. The prettiest and most beautiful people have taught. The other part continues to dwell in vivo. Today, there are about 240 species of these rodents, 14 of which live in Russia.

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It is difficult to find a place on Earth where you could not meet a hamster. the species is ubiquitous: Europe, Asia, America, unless Australia has them. Some species live in the steppes or deserts, others in the forests, and still others have managed to climb high into the mountains.

Appearance

Being the closest relatives, all wild hamsters have a similar structure and constitution, they can differ only in color and size.

  1. Most of them have small eyes, rounded ears and a small, almost invisible tail, although individuals with a longer “fifth limb” are also found.
  2. A strip will be stretched along the back, which is much darker than the main color of the coat.
  3. The abdomen in the total mass is lighter than the upper body.
  4. In some, the legs are covered with wool, in which case they are classified as borefoot.

The length of the smallest animal barely reaches 5 cm, but the largest grows to 35 cm.

Coloring, size. all this directly depends on the environment:

  • hamsters living in deserts or semi-deserts got yellow, sand-pink or ashy fur;
  • while the inhabitants of the steppes and forest zones are gray, brownish in color. it’s easier for them to disguise themselves among bushes and trees;
  • there are also pure white individuals, or rather they become such in winter, when it is necessary to merge with snow. “Albinos” are more common in areas with harsh and snowy climates;
  • mountain residents are more likely to have a black and brown fur coat.
Wild Brothers Of Domestic Hamsters

Types of Wild Hamsters

The most studied breeds of wild hamsters are:

  1. Ordinary. the largest of all species of hamsters on earth. Its height is more than 35 cm. The color is bright and unusual: a mixture of black, gray, red spots with a necessarily white belly. Habitat: northwest of Russia, Siberia, Ciscaucasia. He lives everywhere, except for marshy areas and continuous forests, and may even settle next to a person, annoying him with his sabotage of agricultural land.
  2. Ciscaucasia hamster. The second name is Dagestan. It takes second place after the ordinary in size: the length of an adult. almost 30 cm. The coat is brown-brown with black patches.
  3. The Transcaucasian hamster is found in the mountain steppes of Turkey, Israel, Lebanon. It has an earthy-gray fur coat with brown-brown spots on the sides and a black breast. Medium height. up to 15 cm.
  4. Mongolian hamster is common in the Republic of Tuva and Mongolia. The coat is fawn or gray. A hamster lives where there is a lot of sand. hodgepodge semi-deserts and deserts.
  5. Rat-like. Distribution area: China, Primorye, prefers marshy plains with shrubbery. The hair is ash-colored, the whole body, including the legs, is covered with soft and silky hair of medium length.
  6. Gray. Distributed almost throughout the Eurasian continent. It occupies forest belts, steppes, outskirts of agricultural land. The color is mostly gray, living in different parts of the mainland has left an imprint on the shade of color: alone. light gray, others. dark gray, almost black.
  7. Transbaikal. where the hamster of this species lives is not hard to guess from the name. The abdomen is almost white, the back is gray-brown, the tail is short, body length. no more than 10 cm.
  8. The white-footed inhabit mainly the North and Central parts of America, prefers to settle in the forest-steppe zone mainly in the bush. Rodents are quite large. 15 cm. The color of the abdomen is snow-white, but the upper part can vary greatly among representatives of different habitats. The tail is long. more than 20 cm.
  9. Daursky lives in the Primorsky Territory. The color of the coat is brown; a black stripe stretches along the back. The size. no more than 13 cm. They settle mainly at the edge of the forest, in fields and ravines.
  10. Long-tailed is very similar to a gray mouse, has a similar color and the same long tail, although its size is far from mouse. about 13 cm. It lives mainly in Asian countries, and is also found in Transbaikalia. It settles in the steppes and semi-deserts.
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What do wild hamsters eat?

What does a hamster eat in the steppe? It is logical that the rodent will eat plant foods. these are mainly tubers and plant roots, crops, wild berries and other vegetation.

Closer to autumn, hamsters stock up on food, which should be enough for the whole winter. For these purposes, they stuff their pantries with grain and seeds that steal on agricultural land, thereby causing harm to humans.

The larger the animal, the more food he needs to stock. So, with the destruction of the holes of an ordinary hamster of the steppe zone, the largest animal, truly huge reserves of rye, wheat, sunflower and other crops were found.

And most surprisingly, all the grains were sorted by species and varieties.

In some Asian countries and even the poor, hamster holes specifically destroy their livelihoods. It is worth noting that the kids stoically defend their rights to provisions, defending themselves to the last.

Rodents go hunting at night or at dusk. at this time of day it is easier for them to avoid encountering natural enemies (birds of prey and animals), in addition, in the dark they see better and are easier to navigate by smell and in the absence of extraneous sounds.

In addition to plant foods, periodically feast on insects, small lizards and worms.

Lifestyle

For a comfortable and safe life, a hamster in the steppe needs to equip a home. Usually, it serves as a hand-built hole, consisting of several pantries, a nesting place (berth) and numerous passages (entrances and exits).

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The total mass of wild hamsters live a “bachelor” life, meeting with the opposite sex only for the breeding season. It usually occurs in the spring and summer months.

Even females do not take care of their babies very long. As soon as the month comes, my mother throws them out the door and is ready to meet a new boyfriend who is inseminating her again.

In winter, animals usually hibernate. But if the weather is nice and warm, then they can wake up and go to the surface for ventilation.

All hamsters, like any other inhabitants of the dungeon, are distinguished by low vision. Apparently that’s why they prefer not to crawl out of their minks during daylight hours. The scent and hearing are excellent.

Wild hamsters do not learn well. The only exception is the Transbaikal species, which can often be found in the homes of local residents.