Hamsters in the wild
Hamsters are quite little creatures that everyone loves as pets. But what about hamsters in the wild? Though Aharoni brought the hamsters for the first time, how is their life in the wild? Let’s figure it out. Hamsters have twenty species spread worldwide. Hamsters are close relatives of mice, voles, and squirrels.
Out of these twenty species five species are considered best for keeping as pets. Wild hamsters are easily observable in Europe and Asia. Hamsters by nature are nocturnal, that explains they are active at night and sleep as soon as the sun comes up.
They cannot see as much due to their poor vision, but they have advanced and developed senses of smell and taste. In addition their whiskers also aid them in navigating.
The most common species for pet hamsters is “The golden hamster.” All hamster species love to hunt for their own food, are nocturnal, and live in burrows. Though hamsters look cute and plushy, all of their species are not friendly, rather some of them have very aggressive nature and are not suitable to keep as pets.
Hamsters are little rodents with small tails. They are great pets all across the globe. The first Syrian hamster, which was discovered, was found in Syria. However, there are other countries as well, which also give places to hamsters to live. Romania, Belgium, Greece, and northern areas of China are the prominent places where hamsters are found. Hamsters in the wild prefer to live in the regions which are warm, dry, and humid. Hoarding and digging are their key features; therefore, they live in dunes and along the borders of deserts.
Do hamsters still live in the wild?
Hamsters in your home may look quite shy and undisturbed while running on their wheel. But that does not mean that they cannot live and survive in the wild. I know you are familiar with them as pets since childhood and have never thought of them as wild animals. But that is not the case. They are well developed to survive excellently in wild environments as well. They are okay without their toys and cages as well.
However, in wild environments, you are hardly able to spot out any hamster. Why? Because they dig and love to live underground. Moreover, they always face the threat of predators from morning to night, so staying beneath the ground is their priority. So, where are hamsters in the wild? And how do they manage to live in such a harsh environment?
Your hamster may have become used to running on the wheel 24/7 and playing with their toys. But an average hamster that lives in the wild does not depict the same behavior. Keeping hamsters as pets were first introduced in 1939.
Hamsters in the wild are found in the areas where temperatures are not moderate. It means that they are located at the places where the temperature is high and humid. Therefore, it is visible why the hamsters were first discovered in Syria, a warm country containing many deserts. However, they are not limited to these areas only but are also found in many versatile wild areas like Romania, Greece, Belgium, etc.
Now the question arises how do these tiny, little creatures manage to live in the scorching heat, and how do they survive the wild? The secret lies in their jaws. On their upper and lower jaws, they have potent incisors that do not stop growing until they die. For digging, they have sharp pointings on their feet as well.
Former features have made them capable of digging and capturing their prey well. In most of their lives in the wild, they stay underground to avoid the threats and dangers present outside.
How many wild hamsters are there?
The majority of the people in Canada and the U.S have once had a pet hamster in their lives. When you talk about them hamsters, they inevitably go down the memory lane of their childhood, where they once had a pet hamster that somehow escaped from them. The main memory will be the stuffed cheeks of the hamsters.
To know about hamsters in the wild, I searched their origin, starting from the Syrian, which was the first hamster to be found. Syrian hamsters are also known as the golden hamster or teddy hamsters. When I researched them, I discovered that they were not pets at all times.
Hamsters in the wild have very different features and species. Total species of hamsters in the wild known to scientists are 26 in total. They are also found in some parts of Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.
Hamsters from wild to your bedroom
Food filled in their cheek pouches and ready to attack a wandering attack. These hamsters are far away from your imagination, which you have as your pet. You will be amazed to know that only 1000 hamsters are left in the wild, and they are surviving so that they don’t get extinct.
Origin of your pet hamster:
We are all familiar with the popularity of the Syrian hamsters in the U. S and Europe. But we all also know that the origin of the hamsters is from warm sandy countries like Aleppo, Syria. So how did this creature come from the other corner of the world in your bed? It became possible because of the contributions of Israel Aharoni. He and his colleague, a residential sheik named Al labeled, found this golden hamster with its 11 youngs. They were present underneath the ground below 8 feet of a wheat field.
From there, the Aharoni brought these little creatures to the university of Jerusalem called the Hebrew university. After that, they were introduced in developed countries and bred crazy, and so they are multiplied from laboratories to zoos and then to the pet stores. From there, you got your pet hamster.
Hamsters in the wild overview:
Almost 20 such species of hamsters are present that are closely related to mice and rats etc. Out of them, the most common, which are kept as pets, are only 5. Wild hamsters are distributed throughout Europe and Asia. Hamsters are different from rodents regarding their short tails, and they are not nocturnal; instead, they are crepuscular. In the wild and captivity, Hamsters have very poor eye sights; therefore, they are active only in mornings and evenings in the low light. As they don’t have good eyesight, they use their other senses for navigating.
Where do hamsters live in the wild?
We all love hamsters as pets, but where do they come from? What is their origin? How do hamsters in the wild manage to live and survive?
The genesis of hamsters:
Hamsters have not always been kept as pets rather than they were found in the wild in Syria. Hamsters in the wild love to live in hot areas where they can dig, hoard, and can live freely underneath the ground. Therefore the mother nature has selected their habitat wisely, which is mostly deserts.
According to researchers, the hamsters were brought from laboratories for domestication way back in 1936 or 1939. The word hamsters are taken from the German language, and it means “to hoard,” which is their main feature, they love to fill or hoard their cheek pouches with food to use later.
Hamsters in the wild facts
Unlike other rodents, hamsters have short ears, chubby legs, and shorter tails. They are famous as pet species and are considered as the best pet material for kids. Some of the exciting features and facts about hamsters are given below:
- There are 24 species of hamsters known that live in the wild.
- The most prominent hamster species is the European one, which can grow up to 34 centimeters.
- Dwarf hamsters qualify their names and can grow only up to 4inches.
- The most common pet species of hamsters is the Syrian hamster. They can grow up to 6 inches.
- Hamsters were first discovered in Syria, but they are found in Greece, Europe, Asia, Romania, and China.
- Hamsters in the wild always prefer warm and sandy dunes to live in because, in these areas, it is easy to hide and dig.
- Hamsters are active mostly at the sunrise and when the sunsets.
- Their sleeping behavior is similar to nocturnal rodents meaning they like to sleep during the day.
- Hamsters in the wild dig with their pointy digits to make tunnels and sand caves to live in.
- They also made sand tunnels for hoarding the food for winters.
- Building tunnels is beneficial in both summers and winters. Tunnels keep them warm in cold environments and vice versa.
- Hamsters are mostly territorial except for the dwarf hamsters.
- Hibernation is also a standard behavior among the wild hamsters. They hibernate when the external temperature becomes freezing.
- At intervals, they have to wake up from hibernation to eat.
- One thing to remember, they would not hibernate if they had not stored enough food.
- Hamsters are fond of eating corn, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and grains, etc.
- Hamsters in the wild may eat small insects to fulfill their protein requirements. Lizards, cockroaches, smaller frogs make up their diet in the wild.
- The gestation period of the female hamster lasts for 20 days.
- When baby hamsters are born, they are blind and take 3-4 weeks to develop.
- Never put male and female hamsters in the same cage because the breeding happens in seconds. The female can become pregnant very soon, so avoiding unwanted breeding avoids putting equal genders in one place.
- Females can have two or three babies in a year.
Dwarf hamsters in the wild
Dwarf hamsters are the robust species of the hamsters that have an origin where temperatures are very high. They inhabit warm and humid areas of the world, like places in Afghanistan, Mongolia, Siberia, and Belgium. Dwarf hamsters have varied and diverse habitats. They can live in deserts and forests, too, as they are creations of warmer areas, so they are programmed to be territorial and store water and food for the rainy days.
Russian hamsters in the wild
Russian dwarf hamsters are also known as Phodopus campbelli, are found in areas of Asia and among many steppes of Central Asia. Like all other hamster species, they love to live in sandy areas, and they also build tunnels. They are most active at dawn and dusk.
Hamsters habitat in the wild
In the wild, hamsters love to live in places where they can dig and can store food. They naturally tend to dig the earth and live underground. Living underground saves them from the calamities of harsh environments. Most commonly, they inhabit Syria, Greece, Romania, parts of China, and Asia. Now they are equally famous in Europe and the U.S as well.
Syrian hamsters in the wild
Golden hamsters or also known as the teddy bear hamsters, Syrian hamsters are the most wanted and loved pet species among hamsters. Their habitat is limited to the parts of Syria and some areas of Turkey. Unfortunately, these hamsters in the wild are losing their habitat very fastly. Therefore they are excessively bred in laboratories to increase their number.