Before the first experience with hamsters, people often underestimate them as beautiful and harmless toys that can only survive in a protected environment.You can find them in most of the territories of the Russian Federation, China, most European countries and even in countries with desert climate of Syria and Iran. The attentive traveler can easily find them in the suburbs, parks and fields.
They are also called ordinary. They differ markedly from the next of kin, which you can find in pet stores. Features:
- males exhibit aggressive behavior towards their own kind, they also often attack larger animals;
- nocturnal. The holes can go under the ground to a depth of 8 meters, at night they leave them in search of food, avoiding the attention of most predators;
- cleanliness. Burrows hamsters are divided into several chambers for sleeping, storing food, bathroom breaks.
Males live with multiple females, sometimes rodents live in small colonies, creating a large hole.
Are found in the forest, but uncommon. Representatives of this group prefer a well-protected area in the forests of the Americas, Europe and Asia. These hamsters do not have a clear way of life of males and females can live both separately and together. If they settle near human habitation, they come out at night "hunting" making their way into the storerooms. These hamsters live in the trees, hiding their homes dried twigs.
Video: forest hamster
Natural habitat – marshland. These hamsters carefully avoid such places. They have a scaly tail, and appearance, thanks to which they can be confused with the usual Prairie voles. The maximum length of 20 centimetres, the home they settle in the reeds or to fasten the stems of plants.
The wild members of
Modern science knows 19 species representing the family Khomyakov. Only on the territory of the Russian Federation found 12 species divided into six genera:
Each of them has a unique appearance, thanks to which they can be classified. The largest of them reaching a length of 34 inches. In Russia, there are some of them:
- Real. Weight about 500 grams, yellow-brown color, visible on the sides pronounced white markings, small ears, paws shaped like human hands;
- Upland. Weigh no more than 30 grams, have a sandy-Golden color. On the face near the eyes and on the abdomen you can find small white spots. The ears are large, stand upright;
- Chrysopidae. Average size, weight 240 g, gray-brown color, the belly turns into white. The tail looks like a rat.
Almost all males smaller than females. Rodents have four teeth, sharp enough to bite through solid objects. Teeth do not have roots, and their growth does not stop throughout life.
Food hamsters in nature
Hamsters are omnivorous animals, but they give preference to food of plant origin. In the summer they eat roots, greens, seeds and, if possible, hunt insects. The largest individuals can eat smaller mice, lizards or amphibians. Given the way of life of the hamsters in winter they feed on the fact that I managed to stock in their pantries:
- the tubers of vegetables.
One individual is able to accumulate up to 20 pounds, and in rare cases, weight of food stored for the winter, up to 90 kg.
Official classification of the animal world appeared relatively recently and for a long time hamsters due to their small size, have not attracted the attention of people. The first ancestors of hamsters was discovered in the Syrian desert scientist Waterhouse in 1839, made a scientific description. So homeland hamsters can be considered to be Syria.
In 1930 zoologist Israel Aharoni, a Professor, caught a wild hamster, and eventually were allocated a group that was classified as a species around the world. As Pets, they began to consider the second half of the 20th century.
The enemies of the hamster in nature
Wild nature is a dangerous place, especially for animals with a small size, unable to defend themselves from attacks by larger predators. But, the natural enemies of the hamster, only keep the number of rodents in acceptable numbers, but can't destroy them as a species. Who eats hamsters:
- birds of prey. The threat created by the representatives of the family accipitridae, at night in hamsters owls hunt;
- ground predators. Wolves, lynx, foxes, etc. Waiting for or chasing game, these beasts are able to satisfy their hunger, catching multiple rodents;
- Pets. In a suburban area in hamsters can attack cats and some breeds of hunting and working dogs.
Cats and dogs also pose a threat to Pets hamsters so the cage should be kept out of reach of dogs or cats place, otherwise they can attack and eat smaller pet.