Dzungarian hamster, Striped dwarf hamster, Siberian hamster, Siberian dwarf hamster, Russian winter white dwarf hamster, Winter white dwarf hamster, Russian dwarf hamster, Djungarian hamster, Striped dwarf hamster, Siberian hamster, Siberian dwarf hamster
The winter white dwarf hamster (Phodopus sungorus ), also known as the Russian dwarf hamster, Djungarian hamster, striped dwarf hamster, Siberian hamster, or Siberian dwarf hamster, is one of three species of hamster in the genus Phodopus. It is ball-shaped and typically half the size of the Syrian hamster, so is called a dwarf hamster along with all Phodopus species. Features of the winter white hamster include a typically thick, dark grey dorsal stripe and furry feet. As winter approaches and the days shorten, the winter white dwarf hamster's dark fur is almost entirely replaced with white fur. In captivity, this does not usually happen as animals maintained as pets are generally housed indoors and exposed to artificial light that prevents the recognition of short winter daylengths. In the wild, they originate from the wheat fields of Kazakhstan, the meadows of Mongolia and Siberia, and the birch stands of Manchuria.Show More
Winter white dwarf hamsters are common as pets in Europe and North America, and exhibit greater variance in their coats than those found in the wild. They reproduce often—more so than Syrian hamsters, and as they have no fixed breeding season, can continue to produce some numbers of offspring all year round. Young pups act aggressively to one another, while breeding females may show similar aggression to males. The winter white is known to be one of the most tameable types of hamsters.Show Less
Nocturnality is an animal behavior characterized by being active during the night and sleeping during the day. The common adjective is "nocturnal",...
Diurnal animals are active during the daytime, with a period of sleeping or other inactivity at night. The timing of activity by an animal depends ...
A herbivore is an animal anatomically and physiologically adapted to eating plant material, for example, foliage, for the main component of its die...
Seed predation, often referred to as granivory, is a type of plant-animal interaction in which granivores (seed predators) feed on the seeds of pla...
Terrestrial animals are animals that live predominantly or entirely on land (e.g., cats, ants, snails), as compared with aquatic animals, which liv...
Altricial animals are those species whose newly hatched or born young are relatively immobile. They lack hair or down, are not able to obtain food ...
A burrow is a hole or tunnel excavated into the ground by an animal to create a space suitable for habitation, temporary refuge, or as a byproduct ...
A fossorial animal is one adapted to digging which lives primarily but not solely, underground. Some examples are badgers, naked mole-rats, clams, ...
Browsing is a type of herbivory in which an herbivore (or, more narrowly defined, a folivore) feeds on leaves, soft shoots, or fruits of high-growi...
A cursorial organism is one that is adapted specifically to run. An animal can be considered cursorial if it has the ability to run fast (e.g. chee...
Among animals, viviparity is the development of the embryo inside the body of the parent. The term 'viviparity' and its adjective form 'viviparous'...
NoNot a migrant
Animals that do not make seasonal movements and stay in their native home ranges all year round are called not migrants or residents.
Djungarian hamsters are ball-shaped and typically half the size of the Syrian hamster. They typically have thick, dark grey dorsal stripe and furry feet. As winter approaches and the days shorten, Djungarian hamsters' dark fur is almost entirely replaced with white fur. In captivity, this does not always happen. These hamsters are common as pets in Europe and North America and exhibit greater variance in their coats than those found in the wild. Djungarian hamsters can also be colored pearl, sapphire, sapphire pearl, and marbled. Other colorations can be mandarin, blue, argente, yellow blue fawn, camel, brown, cream, merle, and umbrous.
In the wild, these hamsters originate from Dzungaria, Kazakhstan, the meadows of Mongolia, Siberia, and the birch stands of Manchuria. They sometimes live in the semi-deserts in Central Asia. Djungarian hamsters also live in the dry steppes and wheat or alfalfa fields, as well as on small fields, grassy planes, and mountain steppes.
Djungarian hamsters are solitary creatures. They don't hibernate. These hamsters are known to dig tunnels one metre deep leading to ground burrows where they can sleep, raise their young and hide from predators. Most of these burrows have six entrances. In the summer, the burrows are lined with moss. To keep the burrow warm in the winter, Djungarian hamsters close all but one entrance and line the burrows with animal fur or wool that they find. The temperature inside the burrow is usually 16.7 °C (62.1 °F). These hamsters are usually active in the evening and early morning and sometimes during the night. When foraging, they fill their cheek pouches with small seeds and carry larger items back to the burrow in their mouth. They either stored collected food in the burrow for the winter or eat it when return to the burrow, or above ground in the shelter. Djungarian hamsters communicate with each other with the help of high frequency sounds and with squeaks.
Djungarian hamsters are herbivorous and granivorous animals. They eat seeds and available plant material.
Little is known about the mating system in Djungarian hamsters. In the wild, males and females meet only for mating which means that this species may exhibit a polygynous mating system. They don't have a specific breeding season and can breed year-round. During the breeding time, Djungarian hamsters may become aggressive. Females are able to become pregnant again on the same day that they have given birth. This can all happen within a 36-day period. This is done as a survival strategy to produce large numbers of offspring in a short period of time. The gestation period usually lasts around 20-22 days. Females give birth to 5-12 pups. The young are born blind and hairless. The mother cares for them alone. Young are weaned when they are around 1 month old. Djungarian hamsters reach reproductive maturity usually soon after weaning.
Threats to Djungarian hamsters are not known at present.
According to IUCN, the Djungarian hamster is locally common and widespread throughout its range but no overall population estimate is available. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List.
The hamsters are often found on the pet market in Europe, Japan, and North America. Care of the hamster is similar to all other species of Phodopus. The hamsters, along with most rodents, are prone to tumours. They can also receive injury in the cheek pouch by sharp objects damaging the fragile inner lining. Other health problems include bite wounds, broken teeth, constipation, dehydration, dental malocclusion, diarrhea, and ear problems.