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Old 07-11-2017, 11:24 AM   #1
Gerbil
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Question Types of Russian dwarf?

I've heard that most "Russian" hamsters in pet shops are actually hybrids between the WW and the Campbell's. Could someone explain to me - in as little or as much detail as you like - the difference between the two. I have a scientific mind, so any genetic information is appreciated.
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Old 07-11-2017, 11:56 AM   #2
Cinnamon Bear
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Default Re: Types of Russian dwarf?

That's a broad area, I'd read up under different species on the forum & also Google your questions.
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Old 07-11-2017, 12:16 PM   #3
Drago
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Default Re: Types of Russian dwarf?

The difference is that they're two different species of animal! The closest analogy I can think of is like a dog and a wolf. Genetically different enough to be a different species, but close enough to hybridize. WW's have few colors, with theirs being less patterned and overall just less complex. Campbells have many more colors from opal, to argente, to mottled. This highlights just a few of the differences.


Campbells- live in the desert areas of Asia and China
WW- live in Siberia and Mongolian desert areas

*Note the difference in place of origin*

Now for taxonomy and classification

The Campbells-

"Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Cricetidae
Subfamily: Cricetinae
Genus: Phodopus
Species: P. campbelli
Binomial name
Phodopus campbelli
(Thomas, 1905)"

The winter white-

"Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Cricetidae
Genus: Phodopus
Species: P. sungorus
Binomial name
Phodopus sungorus
(Pallas, 1773)"

"Russian dwarfs" aren't technically a species, but rather a mix of two. It's a real shame as it causes the death of pure blooded WW's and Campbells, along with with a myriad of health problems. If you want more info, here's a good rundown of what's happening

Hybrid Dwarfs - Harvey Hams

Google of course could help some
Hope I could help a bit!
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Old 07-11-2017, 01:21 PM   #4
Gerbil
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Default Re: Types of Russian dwarf?

Why aren't the hybrids sterile?
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Old 07-11-2017, 01:22 PM   #5
Gerbil
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Default Re: Types of Russian dwarf?

Sorry, I should really google before I bother you on here
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Old 07-11-2017, 01:43 PM   #6
Vectis Hamstery
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Default Re: Types of Russian dwarf?

Not all hybrid animals are sterile In equines, it seems that some female mules can be fertile, even though horses and donkeys have different numbers of chromosomes. In hamsters, however, both Campbell’s and Winter Whites have 28 chromosomes so hybrid offspring will also have 28 (Chinese hamsters have 22 chromosomes and Roborovskis have 34 and these species can't hybridise with each other or the Campbell's and winter whites).
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Old 07-11-2017, 01:45 PM   #7
Gerbil
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Default Re: Types of Russian dwarf?

That's really interesting, thank you!
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