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Syrian hamster

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Syrian Hamster
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Suborder: Myomorpha
Superfamily: Muroidea
Family: Cricetidae
Subfamily: Cricetinae
Genus: Mesocricetus
Species: M. auratus

The Syrian hamster is a breed of hamster originating from Syria. They are also known as Golden hamsters as originally all hamsters that were kept as pets were gold coloured. Now there are over 100 different colour variations because of selective breeding. Little is known about their life in the wild, but they are kept as pets in many countries including America, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Australia and others.


A Syrian hamster's anatomy is similar to other rodents and very close to other hamsters.



Syrian hamsters have 16 teeth. These are 4 incisors and 12 molars. There is a toothless gap between the incisors and the molars which is called the diastema.

Spine and Tail

The spine, like in other animals, is made up of several bones called vertebrae. There are five different types of vertebra and altogether a Syrian hamster has 43-44. 13-14 of those are in the tail.


All hamsters have short legs. Because of this, their legs have small bones which make them easier to break or fracture. Obese hamsters are more likely to have problems with their legs.

Sense Organs

Syrian hamsters have, like most animals, five senses. They can see, hear, touch, taste and smell. They have good eyesight, however but rely largely on smell to find food sources. Some people believe they are colorblind and have poor vision in daylight. However, other evidence suggests they can see very well. Their tongue senses taste in the same way as humans do, salty at the tip of the toungue, bitter at the back and sweet at the sides.


Very little is known about Syrian hamster breeding in the wild but Syrians have been bred well in captivity (i.e. in labs, by breeders and when kept as pets), which means people have been able to learn a lot about their breeding and it is very likely that the breeding patterns in captivity are the same as the ones in the wild.

Syrian hamsters are believed to have the shortest gestation period of any animal as it is just 16 days. The gestation period is the amount of time a baby is inside its mother's womb, or how long the pregnancy lasts.

They also have a short ovulation period. Syrian hamsters come into heat once every 4 days for about 1-2 hours.

Other websites

Media related to Hamster at Wikimedia Commons