What Is a Hamster's Natural Environment?

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Hamsters are small, furry rodents that have been bred as pets for many years. Their natural environment depends upon the type of hamster. Five main types of hamsters are known by many names.

Due to their natural habitat, hamsters are nocturnal creatures, even through they may change their habits when kept in captivity.

Djungarian Hamster

Djungarian hamsters are known by several names including Campbells Russian Dwarf and furry- or harry-footed hamsters. No matter what you call them, these hamsters are tough. The Djungarian hamster can survive daily temperature fluctuations of between 4.44 degrees Celsius to around 37.8 degrees C. Its fur helps it cope with the evening temperatures of the Mongolian semi-desert regions. During the day, they hide below the ground to escape the heat.

Roborovski Hamsters

The Roborovski hamster, or Robo hamster, are native to Mongolia, and north and northeastern China. These smallest of the hamster species burrow and hide in the local sand dunes in depths up to 6 feet. The Robo breeding season runs from April to September in their natural habitat.

Chinese Hamsters

Chinese hamsters actually look more like mice with their long tails and large ears. The Chinese hamster comes from northeastern China and parts of Mongolia where it too survives desert climates, coming out at night to avoid the heat of the day.

Siberian Hamsters

Siberian hamsters, or Winter Whites, were considered the same as Campbell Dwarfs until they were deemed separate species by scientists. These rare hamsters originate from Siberia where they build their homes in naturally forming holes in the ground in short grass regions. The Siberian hamster was nicknamed Winter White due to its ability to change its colour to blend in with the winter snow. These hamsters are regularly around humans even in the wild.

Syrian Hamster

The Syrian hamster is the most commonly kept hamster in the United States. Alternatively called Teddy Bear Hamster, the Syrian hamster originates from fields in Syria. Similar to most all other hamsters, Syrians hunt for food at night, travelling distances up to 3 miles in their search for fruit, seeds and other edible vegetation. During the day, the Syrian hamster creates long, winding, interconnected underground tunnels.