Friday, April 8, 2011

Roborovski Hamster

Roborovski Hamsters
Phylum : Chordata
Class : Mammalia
Order : Rodentia
Family : Cricetidae
Genus : Phodopus
Species : P. roborovskii

Length : up to 3in (7.5cm)

IUCN Status : Least Concern

You might recognize this tiny rodent from your local pet store, but Roborovski Hamsters are actually native to the desert and steppe regions of Russia, Mongolia, China, and Kazakhstan. Their small size (they are the smallest Hamsters) and efficient use of water has allowed them to live in these harsh, dry environments. They are also sometimes appropriately referred to as the Desert Hamster.

Roborovski Hamsters were first described by a Lt. Roborovski during an 1894 expedition. They were not fully studied until 1903, and were not really imported anywhere until the 1970s. In fact, these Hamsters didn't even appear in America until 1998!

White Faced Roborovski
While most captive hamsters are fed a vegetarian diet, wild Robos are actually omnivores, and occasionally eat insects and other bits of meat that they can find. They are crepuscular animals, and spend a great deal of time in underground burrows that they dig as far as 6 feet down!

Roborovski Hamsters can live up to three years in captivity, and have been bred to come in three different color variations - Agout (or wild), White Faced, and Platinum. They are relatively easy to breed; they reach sexual maturity at 6-8 weeks and a female can produce a litter every 4 weeks! Males can actually be kept with females after they give birth, as they will help care for the young. However, the females can become pregnant again almost immediately, so unless you want a massive colony of Hamsters, it is probably best to keep them apart. Interestingly, it seems that the Hamsters will actually stop breeding altogether once their colony reaches a specific size.

3 comments:

  1. Hi! Just wanted to say that the robo dwarf hamsters in your pictures are so cute, especially the ones with black tips on their ears :)

    My roborovskis have black tips on only one ear and they're less prominent.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Those sitting roborovski dwarf hamsters look so cute!
    Do you have robo hamster? :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I Love your Dwarf Hamster It is very cute

    Roborovski hamsters are very small and fast hehe

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...