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Hamster Species


There are 5 types of hamsters. These are Dwarf Campbell Russian Hamster, Dwarf Winter White Russian Hamster, the Syrian hamster, Chinese Hamster and Roborovski Hamster.

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									Hamster Species
There are many species of hamsters but only 5 species are widely kept in captivity as pets and these are Dwarf Campbells
Russian Hamster, Dwarf Winter White Russian, Chinese Hamster, Syrian Hamster and Roborovski Hamster.

Dwarf Campbells Russian Hamster
The Dwarf Campbells Russian Hamster (sometimes incorrectly labelled as the Siberian Hamster in pet shops) is the more
common than the other species of Dwarf Russian Hamster, the Dwarf Winter White Russian (Siberian) Hamster, and is
often seen in pet shops in many countries today.

The adult male hamster is slightly larger than the female. Campbell Russians are categorized by their short tail and furry
feet. Both male and female raise the litter and are usually outgoing and friendly if handled confidently. Most of them can
also be housed cordially in pairs.

Most Campbell Russians are colored like those observed in the wild, but today's breeding techniques have produced a great
variety of colors, textures and patterns.

Dwarf Winter White Russian
The Dwarf Winter White Russian hamster also known as the Siberian hamsters, winter white Russians are often mistaken as
the Campbell Russians because they are similar in appearance and may be found in the same regions. Both the Russian
Campbells and the winter white russians are originally believed to be one and the same species, or subspecies. In later
scientific writings, it is agreed that the two types of hamsters are separate and distinct species.

Siberian hamsters are called "winter white" because their fur have the ability to turn to a winter white coat during short day
length, ie. during the winter months when the hours of darkness are longer than the hours of light. As winter whites are not
allowed to enter shows in their winter coat (they takes months to change coats) and they tend to breed more readily when
they are out of their winter coat, one of the ways to prevent them from changing coat is to increase the hours of light
artificially (such as placing fluorescent tubes) which in effect lengthens the day.

Chinese Hamster
Chinese hamsters are very territorial and should be house individually. Females are generally more aggressive than males
and both sexes should be separated after mating. Chinese Hamsters are extremely timid and fast moving which often makes
them difficult to catch but they are of good temperament and rarely nip. Their timid nature means they are often not very
active when handled and so are not a popular pet with children who want a pet they can hold and play with. However
Chinese Hamsters are a fascinating pet for those who prefer simply to observe, particularly when given a large and
interesting environment in which to live.

Syrian Hamster
The Syrian Hamster is sometimes referred to as the 'Golden Hamster' due to its original wild golden colouring although
today there are many different colour and coat mutations. It is also sometimes referred to as the Fancy or Standard Hamster.
Syrian hamsters are also referred to as 'Teddy Bear Hamsters' for the Long Haired species. There will be the Hairless Syrian
Hamster and referred as the 'Alien Hamster' and finally the Black Syrian Hamster is also referred to as the 'Black Bear'

The Syrian Hamster 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 as serious fighting, even death can occur if more than one are kept in the same cage. The
Syrian Hamster is nocturnal, usually waking during the evening.

The Syrian Hamster makes a good pet and easy enough for small children to handle under supervision.
Roborovski Hamster
The Roborovski Hamster is also a short-tailed dwarf hamster, but its yellow-brown colouring and striking whiskers lend it a
totally different appearance to the other two short-tailed species of dwarf hamsters. Roborovski Hamsters are much less well
knows and they breed very few young. The Roborovski Hamster. Is the smallest dwarf hamster. Its body measures only
seven to nine centimeters in length and its tail is barely visible. Its back is a brownish-yellow with grey under colouring.
Sometimes the yellow on its back appears somewhat rusty in colour. Roborovski Hamsters don't have dorsal stripes.
Roborovski Hamsters can live in groups of the same gender.

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