These rodents are found during a wide selection of habitats, from northern Europe during a broad band across much of Asia, aside from the southeastern corner. Twenty-four species are known but, as within the gerbils, just one – the Golden, or Syrian, Hamster (Mesocricetus auratus) – has become popular as a pet throughout the planet .
The Golden, or Syrian, Hamster
The Syrian hamster was first discovered in 1839 and, forty years later, live specimens were delivered to England from Syria by James Skene, who had been serving there within the diplomatic corps . This group seems to possess thrived for thirty years, with the ultimate progeny dying in 1910.
Subsequently, there seems to possess been none of those rodents in captivity until April, 1930. Indeed, it had been suggested that the species was extinct, until Dr. Israel Aharoni discovered a nest of Syrian Hamsters on Mount Appo in Syria. The young hamsters were transferred to the Hebrew University at Jerusalem. The breeding program wasn’t entirely successful initially , since four of the eight hamsters escaped, then a female died as a results of a fight with the sole surviving male. From this unpromising beginning, however, the male mated successfully with both the opposite females and, within a year, 300 and sixty-four offspring had been reared.
Some of the progeny were sent to Dr. Edward Hindle in England and, possibly via breeding stock at the London Zoo, Golden Hamsters became available to the pet-owning public. it had been not until the beginning of the Second war that these hamsters were seen alive in North America. it’s amazing to reflect that each one such hamsters kept throughout the planet today are believed to be the direct descendants from that nest found on Mount Appo quite half a century ago.
An unusual and sometimes disconcerting habit of hamsters is their ability to hibernate if environmental conditions are unfavorable. this is often a natural trait, which to some extent is now less apparent in domesticated stock. The hamster’s blood heat falls from the traditional level of about 37 C (98.7 F) to a touch above the environmental temperature. The rate of respiration is barely one breath a moment , whereas under normal circumstances the figure reaches up to at least one hundred or more. Since the guts beat also can be as low as four contractions per minute, compared with five hundred per minute within the active animal, to the casual observer a hibernating hamster appears dead. A fall in temperature, including declining periods of sunshine , will trigger hamsters to enter this torpid state.
Clearly, during a room within the home heated during weather , such behavior is a smaller amount likely to occur. To encourage a hibernating hamster to wake from its sleep, transfer it to a warm position where it can awake gradually. A temperature in more than 20 C (68 F) is right . Gradually the hamster’s breathing will become apparent, and its body will warm up as blood flow to the skin increases. If you discover a hamster apparently dead within the nest, treat it during this thanks to establish whether or not it’s simply entered a torpid state.
Other factors also influence a hamster’s readiness to enter a state of dormancy. These include the supply of a really deep layer of bedding and, significantly, a chance for the hamster to store food. Hoarding behavior is sort of natural, with food being taken back within the cheek pouches and stored within the nest.