Syrian Hamster

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When one thinks of a hamster the first image that comes to mind is most likely the most common hamster being the Syrian hamster ”Mesocricetus auratus”, the “big” hamster. The Syrian is also know as the Golden Hamster but despite its name can now be found in a wide verity of colors due to selective breeding. Because of the new selection of color it is now most commonly referred to as the Syrian hamster.

However there are still a few common names used for the same Syrian hamster that can be misleading such as the term “teddy-bear” hamster. It’s often labeled on the long-haired verity of Syrian hamsters. The “black bear hamster” or the “European Black Bear” Hamster” usually refers to the Black Syrian Hamster. Another breed of Syrian is the hairless hamster that is also referred to as the alien hamster.

Syrians are found from Romania to Bulgaria, southeastward to Asia minor, the Caucasus Israel and part of Iran.

The Syrian is approximately 6-7 (12- 17½ cm) inches in length with a very short tail. It has hairless feet with four toes on the front feet and five on the back feet. Adults weight about 5 to 7 ounces (140-200g) the females being the larger sex.

Although they live together as babies and are often seen caged together in pet shops or at the breeders, It is a solitary animal and will not usually live with another past 8-10 weeks of age and so it is important that they are housed separately.

Because of the Syrians large size they are easy to handle and make great pets for children. They are less nervous and less aggressive in nature then the smaller dwarf breeds.

Syrian’s have very large cheek pouches, which they store food in that they have found while out foraging. Once they have filled their cheek pouches they will dump their horde back in the nest using their front feet pushing out the food from their pouches.

Life span of the Syrian is two to two and a half years, but have been known to live up to four years. They are capable of have having young every month of the year. After a year old their fertility is greatly reduced. Litter size is usually 1-14 pups after a gestation of 15-18 days. The young become sexually mature at 42 days for males and 34 days for female.


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