The Dzhungarian Hamster - Small animal, big appetite

Dzhungarian hamsterThe Dzhungarian hamster (Phodopus sungorus) is a dwarf rodent with similar characteristic to the larger breeds. These hamsters, which are easy to tame and make good pets for children, come in a variety of colors from gray to a pinkish white. Due to domestication, they can now be found in at least three additional colors - albino, opal, and argent.

Characteristics
Dzhungarian hamster adults are known for having a characteristic darkened stripe of fur that runs from head to tail, and being covered with thick fur throughout. Their bodies are rounded with wide, short legs and sharp claws and teeth. They have black eyes, long whiskers, and fairly short tails. Fur becomes lighter during winter months. Other defining traits include their solitary behavior and burrowing abilities.

Behavior
Dzhungarian hamsters are solitary animals by nature, only meeting for breeding purposes. They live in underground burrows and bring in grass, feathers, or other soft findings to nest in. As for their diet, these hamsters eat grains such as barley and wheat, seeds, legumes, chickpeas, and some plants, which they store in huge cheek pouches while foraging, then store in their burrows. This food management is very useful, especially during the long winter months when they enter a state of hibernation, only waking on warmer days to eat. This hamster has few predators except owls and smalls cats such as the Snow Leopard.
Gestation periods are between 18 and 22 days, with 40 days in between. Pups are born hairless and blind. Their maturity rate and large litter sizes give their breed a strong survival rate. The hamster's conservation status is listed as Least Concern, meaning they are in no danger of extinction.

Weight and Size Measurements
At birth, the Dzhungarian hamsters weight about 2 g (0.07 oz). Fully grown adults weight an average of 23.40 g (0.82 oz).

Head and body length can be between 7 and 10.5 cm (2.76 to 4.13 inches). Tail length is 0.6 to 1.8 cm (.25 to .75 inches).

Picture of the Dzhungarian hamster licensed under GFDL

Keywords: white , stripe , tail

The Dzhungarian hamster is listed as Least Concern (LR/lc), lowest risk. Does not qualify for a more at risk category. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category, on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

Namings for the Dzhungarian hamster
A young / baby of a Dzhungarian hamster is called a 'pup'. The females are called 'doe' and males 'buck'. A Dzhungarian hamster group is called a 'horde'.
Countries
Kazakhstan and Russia
Some facts about the
Dzhungarian hamster

Adult weight : 0.023 kg (0.0506 lbs)

Maximum longevity : 4 years

Female maturity :120 days

Gestation : 20 days

Weaning : 21 days

Litter size : 6

Litters per year : 4

Interval between litters : 40 days

Weight at birth : 0.002 kg (0.0044 lbs)

Weight at weaning : 0.015 kg (0.033 lbs)

Body mass : 0.031 kg (0.0682 lbs)

Temperature : 35.85 °C (96.53 °F)

Source: AnAge, licensed under CC

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