My Fancy Kung Fu Hamster !

By: Little Princess

“Where Willard Ended... Ben Begins. And This Time He's Not Alone!” ... the tag line from the famous movie “Ben” where its sentimental theme song was sung by a young Michael Jackson.

To all hamster lovers, in this movie the main character was a rat that became the best friend of a lonely boy that eventually turned on him. But have you ever thought why of all the animals, a rat was chosen to be the main character in the movie? Perhaps, basically it’s because of the similarity of rats to human biology.

Hamster behavior varies depending on their environment, genetics and interaction with people. Because they are easy to breed in captivity, Hamster became a popular small house pet.

For people who loves hamster and has hamsters as pets, it would be good to know some of its characteristics to be able to give utmost care to these little creatures.

It is interesting to know  that ...the name hamster is derived from the German verb hamstern, which means "to hoard" because hamsters have expandable cheek pouches lined with fur to store their food.

In a nutshell, hamsters belong to the family of rodents .Hamsters are crepuscular, which means, in the wild they live underground in the daylight to hide from their predators .They eat variety of foods like dried foods, berries, nuts, fresh fruit and vegetables .They have elongated fur-lined pouches on both sides of their heads where they store their food to be eaten later.They also eat boiled egg and yoghurt drops.

Hamsters have poor eyesight .They are nearsighted and colorblind. But they have an acute sense of smell and can hear extremely well. Hamsters use their sense of smell to detect gender and look for food. They can communicate in ultrasonic range and are sensitive to high pitched noises.

Hamsters are very flexible, and their bones are somewhat fragile. They are extremely susceptible to rapid temperature changes and drafts, as well as extreme heat or cold. Hamsters are hind gut fermenters and must eat their own feces in order to digest their food a second time .Well, this is necessary for the hamster to obtain the proper nutrients from its food.

One characteristic of rodents that is highly visible in hamsters is their sharp incisors. They have two pairs in the front of their mouths and these incisors never stop growing.

During my last visit to the pet shop, it was explained to me that there are 3 known species of hamster commonly kept as pet.

One, is this Syrian or Golden Hamster. The Fancy Hamster . Also known as : “Honey Bears”, “Panda Bears”, “Black Bears”, “European Black Bears”, “Polar Bears”, “Teddy Bears” and “Dalmatian”, depending on their coloration. These Hamsters are very territorial and may attack others. They are generally solitary and may fight to death when attacked. It lives from 2 to 3 years in captivity and less in the wild. They can grow from 13 to 18 cm. long.

Second, is the Russian dwarf hamster. It has been claimed that the Campbell's hamster is less friendly in temperament (to humans) than the winter white and is consequently more likely to bite or nip. Their life span is about 1.5 to 2 years. One thing should be noted thou when feeding this type of hamster. Diabetes is becoming a problem. They should not be fed with sugary foods. In addition to diabetes, there are other diseases that can develop which are glaucoma and cataract. This type of hamster grows from 5.5 to 10.5 cm.long.

And the last one is the Chinese Hamster. They have quiet temperaments and are easily handled; one of their endearing traits is that of clinging to a finger with all four paws, rather like a harvest mouse on a cornstalk. Chinese hamsters can be quite nervous as youngsters but, once they are tame, display an endearing calmness and gentleness of character. They live from 2 to 3 yrs. They grow from 7.5 to 9 cm. long.

Currently I have a Syrian Fancy Kung Fu Hamster. And all these information has helped me buy one. Whooh !

See some funny hamsters videos ...

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