If you’re thinking about getting a hamster for your kid, selecting from a wider selection may be advantageous. Whereas smaller hamsters, including such dwarf types, are charming, they are not ideal for youngsters under the age of ten years. They are difficult to grip with their tiny hands and are prone to slipping out of their grasp. The Syrian Hamster is the biggest of the hamster breeds, and it comes in three different hair types: long-haired, short-haired, as well as banded-hair. Due to their bigger size, they are simpler to manage and catch pace with, making them a better option for both children and grownups.
In this article, we will look at the many breeds of larger hamsters available worldwide.
1) Syrian Hamsters
The Syrian Hamster (scientifically referred to as Mesocricetus auratus), sometimes described as a golden hamster, is a small rodent that lives in Syria. Syrian hamsters are generally regarded as the loveliest of all the hamster breeds in existence today. Not only are they well-regarded as being the most fabulous pet for families with kids, but they’re also an excellent choice for people in general.
As far as large hamster varieties go, these are the most prominent breeds to have around. They hardly bite, and they are straightforward to take care of. Therefore that’s why these pets are most favored. You’ll be convinced in no time that the Syrian Hamster is the sweetest hamster breed out there because of their lovely dispositions. They may grow to be between 5 to 9 inches in height and weighs about 5 oz. The average lifespan of this Hamster is estimated to be somewhere around three and four years.
Its natural species is deemed fragile owing to loss of ecological, which has occurred in recent years. On the other hand, captive breeding operations have been in existence since the early 1930s for both scientific research and the pet trading business. Along with their widespread appeal as domesticated animals, Syrian Hamster feeds designed just for them can be purchased in most pet shops, making feeding them a simple facet for their overall care. Furthermore, their cages do not require a substantial area, very easy to set up and keep up to date.
2) European Hamsters
White patches appear on the dorsal fur of European hamsters, which is brown in color. These creatures have black skin on their chest as well as belly. A short and furred tail completes the appearance of the animal. It has cheeks pouches and is considerably bigger than the Syrian hamsters raised as pets worldwide. In their later life, they may live around eight years and grow somewhere between 20 cm to 35 cm height, with weights ranging from 220 to 460 grams.
European hamsters are endemic to a wide area of Eurasia and have a variety of habitats. They may be spotted in countries as diverse as France, Russia, and Bulgaria; they may be seen to the westward in Belgium as well as Alsace. These hamsters actually love living in low-lying farms with soft loam – loess grounds, but they could be found in grasslands, lawns, and hedgerows as well as in the wild.
These animals are typically reclusive and sleep throughout the day and awake at night. A sophisticated system of burrows allows them to survive in a wide range of environments. This kind of Hamster is unique in that they have cheeks that stretch in order to carry food to its final place. These can be pretty big, weighing up to 65 kilograms in whole. European hamsters go to hibernation between the months of October as well as March. It’s when they eat from the storage compartments, and they start waking up around 5 to 7 days throughout that period. Adorable hamsters are lovely pet companions. To make themselves more buoyant as they swim, hamsters use air from their cheeks to inflate their pouch-like cheeks. Throughout substantial populations migrations, European hamsters have been known to traverse enormous bodies of water. A scarcity of food often drives these migrations.
Hunting, as well as agricultural industrialization, were factors in the plight of these hamsters in Europe. The habit of trapping and poisoning them continues today in some areas of their habitat in order to avoid harm to crop production. According to some experts, developing farming practices in eastern Europe may pose a danger to these hamsters.
3) Turkish Hamsters
Turkish hamsters are hard to keep because of their aggression and are considered overly fierce to be petted. They’re pretty identical in size to Syrian hamsters but more belligerent. They may be spotted in the wilderness in a wide range of habitats across Turkey, Lebanon, as well as Israel. Despite their color patterns and the form of their nose, they are sometimes misidentified as mice.
The Turkish Hamster is scientifically identified as Mesocricetus brandti and commonly named Azerbaijani Hamster and many other names. This breed of Hamster is endemic to Turkey, Armenia as well as other neighboring countries. This species was initially discovered in 1878 and is closely similar to the golden Hamster, but it is less well-known and is only occasionally raised as a pet by people. Even though the Turkish Hamster’s breeding populations are declining, this breed is often exploited in laboratory experimentation and research. Turkish hamsters have a lifetime of approximately two years and thus are reclusive, and\d nocturnal creatures usually hibernate throughout the winter months. Compared to other species of the Cricetidae family, they are said to be highly aggressive in their behavior. They have a tanned and a darker, sandy-brownish shade to them. In common with other hamsters, the Turkish Hamster is endowed with cheek pouches that enable it to hold vast quantities of food at a time.
These hamsters can be spotted in the wilderness all across Europe as well as Asia, so they are regarded to be highly adaptable, thriving in grasslands, dunes, deserts plains, and farm fields, to name a few habitats. In the Turkish Hamster’s territory, the terrain is very arid and desolate, and apart from grasses, it is almost entirely devoid of vegetation. Turkish hamsters are found at elevations ranging from 1,000 to 2,200m above the sea surface. This Hamster seeks a place of safety in the earth, and its burrows can be deep as 20 inches or high as 6 feet beneath the surface of the ground. They are intricate, comprising numerous passageways that lead to different areas such for reproduction, food storage, and waste storage, among other things. Burrows for Turkish hamsters are well-equipped to allow them to go hibernation for four to ten months, occasionally hibernating for up to 30 days at a period but typically only awakening once or twice per week for a day or two of activity.
Turkish hamsters have a very diverse diet, with grains and herbs serving as the primary sources of nutrition. They ingest insects from time to time and stockpile roots and leaves in their burrows in preparation for hibernation. Since Turkish hamsters often dwell in and amid farm fields, they are frequently seen eating agricultural crops and are thus regarded as a threat.
The Turkish Hamster is the rarest breed, although it is the most widely distributed of the Cricetidae family. As a result of its capacity to adapt to many environments, it is usually seen on farm fields, where it is regarded and treated as agricultural pests. Turkish hamsters were considered among the least endangered species in 1996, but owing to intentional poisoning by farm owners, the species is now considered to be in danger of becoming extinct. Further information is required to comprehend the declining population fully.
4) Ciscaucasian Hamster
This Hamster may be found on the northern slopes of the Caucasus and Ciscaucasia, between Dagestan, the Don River, and the Sea of Azov. The existence of the species is also recognized from a single report in Georgia. It seems to be expanding its ranges on northwest sides, while its populations in the highlands appear to be steady. It can be spotted in grassy plains as well as mountainous highlands at altitudes ranging from 1600 to 2300 meters above sea level. In meadow and agricultural lands, it thrives, and it may also be found in belts of shrubs and coarse grasses around fields, although it is not found in woodland.
Compared to the subspecies seen on the farmlands, these hamsters seen in hilly areas are much bigger. They are approximately 28 cm in height, with a small tail of 1.5 cm in length. Their upper side is brownish-yellowish, their neck and belly are white, and their ventral side is black. The shoulders are striped with two wide black stripes, and even the ears are big and rounder in shape. This Hamster is regarded as a nuisance in the agriculture industry. It is primarily nocturnal, appearing at night to eat grasses and herbs during springtime and early summer; however, they eat seeds, grains, and roots during autumn.
When hibernating, they last between four and six months, based on the temperatures and elevation. Substant stockpiles of food up to 16 kilograms are put up in the autumn before hibernation. This foodstuff is primarily consumed in the spring, after the animal’s awakening from hibernation. Because of its productivity, the species is capable of recovering rapidly after severe winters, and thus the size of the population is susceptible to significant fluctuations.
In specific years, this breed has become a severe enemy of agricultural production, posing a threat. Cultivated grains and perennial grasses may be affected, while potato crops, melon farms, and vegetable gardening can be disturbed. The plants around the burrow may be obliterated.
5) Romanian Hamster
The Romanian Hamster is a big, nearly extinct hamster similar to the Syrian in appearance and behavior. This breed may be seen in uninhabited grasslands in the southern regions of Romania and Bulgaria.
This Hamster has a brownish dorsal in the back and fur with a white underside, distinguishing it from other species. It has dark stripes that go along the top of the head and down the neck of this animal. The black cheek stripes are visible to the shoulders. Depending on the species, its head and body size may reach 180 mm, and it weighs around 80 to 115 grams.
This Hamster is a nocturnal rodent, which means that it is active at night. It is a reclusive creature that dwells in a sophisticated burrow system. It consumes seedlings, beans, root veggies, and grass, as well as insects. It uses its elastic cheeks pouches to hold food and move it to storage compartments. They reach their sexual maturity when they are 56 to 70 days old. Following 15 days of conception, the typical Hamster delivers birth to a litter of one to twelve, weaning following three weeks of gestation. It communicates by squealing or by emitting ultrasonic sounds.
The Romanian Hamster has interbred with the Syrian Hamster in captivity. This species has been a model of study in recent years. Additionally, there have been efforts to make it prolific as its Syrian counterpart, but thus far, it has proven more difficult to procreate.
The European Hamster is the world’s biggest breed, whereas the Syrian Hamster is the world’s most populous domesticated hamster breed.
Unsurprisingly, both breeds are on the verge of extinction in their natural environment. Even though the Syrian Hamster is not in immediate concern of extinction due to the large number of individuals maintained and reproduced in captivity, the European Hamster is at far higher risk of extinction because the wilderness is frequently his sole habitat.
We hope you enjoyed reading this article and that the next time somebody else starts asking you which hamster breed is the biggest, you will be able to give them the correct answer.