Skip to main content

Syrian Hamster

Mesocricetus auratus
Today's animal may look familiar, as they are one of the most popular small animals kept as pets. But did you know that in the wild Syrian Hamsters are becoming quite rare?

Syrian Hamsters were first identified in the early 19th century, and were first utilized as lab animals due to their ability to breed more readily. In fact, it is believed that all captive Hamsters in North America are descended from one litter that was captured and used for research in the 1930s.

In the 1940s Syrian Hamsters entered the pet world, and there are now over 40 varieties. They come in long and short haired versions, and in a massive number of color combinations. They are the most common hamsters kept as pets.

So is Syrian Hamsters are so popular as pets, why are they so Vulnerable in the wild? There are actually a numbers of factors. The first is that their range is very small. Less than 7,500 square miles (around 20,000 square km). Secondly, they are losing that small area to habitat encroachment. And third, they are considered to be agricultural pests, and are often baited by farmers. There are currently no conservation measures taking place throughout their native range.

IUCN Status : Vulnerable
Location : Syria
Size : Body Length up to 6in (15.5cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Mammalia -- Order : Rodentia
Family : Cricetidae -- Genus : Mesocricetus -- Species : M. auratus


Popular posts from this blog

Bornean Orangutan

The Bornean Orangutan is one of two extant Orangutan species in the world. It is the third largest primate (after Gorillas) and is the largest primarily tree-dwelling animal in the world. Males are substantially larger than females, and average at around 165lbs. Bornean Orangutans are largely solitary. A handful might live within a small range but they will seldom interact with one another. Males and females only meet up to breed, which happens only once every several years. A young Orangutan will stay with it's mother for about five years, and the females tend to go about eight years between births. That is the longest interim period of any animal! Sadly, the Bornean Orangutans are in a lot of trouble. They need large forests in order to thrive, and deforestation and habitat degradation has left many homeless. They are also hunted for meat and for traditional medicines. Conservation areas are being established to help these guys in the wild, and it is believed that there are a


For anyone who was counting, yesterday was our birthday-- four years! Four years filled with animals from A to Z, more than 1,100 of them! I can't thank my readers enough, it's been wonderful! And in celebration of that milestone... I'm taking a break. Hopefully not forever, but for a little bit at least. In the mean time I plan on getting a new layout out, along with some updates to some of the older articles. I'll post updates here and on the Facebook page, I'm also brainstorming some new animal-related projects, so keep an eye out! Thanks again for four awesome years!

Halloween Crab

Gecarcinus quadratus The Halloween Crab goes by many names, including the Red Land Crab, Whitespot Crab, and Moon Crab. I personally like Halloween Crab though, since it really reflects the interesting colors. They have black carapaces, orange-red legs, and purple claws! Halloween Crabs live in the Pacific coast mangroves and forests of Central and South America. They actually live in the forests as adults, and return to the ocean in order to reproduce. Did you know that they live as far away as 18 miles (30km)  from water? Not where you normally think Crabs to be! While living in the forest, the Crabs forage nocturnally for different plant matter, including leaves and sapling. They also dig long burrows into the ground for protection. These burrows can measure nearly 5 ft long! Halloween Crabs are sometimes kept in captivity, and can be very tricky pets due to their excellent climbing skills. IUCN Status :  Not Listed Location :   Cent