We all know hamsters can pack a picnic lunch in their mouths and more. In fact, who hasn't enjoyed watching pet hamsters stuff their faces like there's no tomorrow? By the way, the German term "hamstern" means "to hoard and it's amazing how big these cheek pouches can get! Just watch some of them go at it:
Sure, everyone knows hammies have big mouths. But did you also know these other facts about hamsters?
1. There's A Hamster Adam & Eve
The entire bloodline of all Syrian hamsters currently living to a single brother-sister pairing. At the same time, female Syrian hamsters are known for being aggressive toward males if kept together for too long after mating.
2. A Hamster Can Catch Your Cold
While cats and dogs do pass some of the diseases that afflict them to humans, they catch comparatively few from us in return.
Not so for hamsters, who can catch colds just like humans -- and from humans. Symptoms can include a runny nose, fever, fatigue, discharge from eyes/snoot and sneezing. So if you are sick, avoid playing with your hamster(s) until you are well again.
3. Hamsters Can Run Several Km Per Night
Some say their hammies can run more than 8km in a single night! That's nearly as far as Mount Everest is high! Hammies are seriously fit, you guys. And buff, too.
4. Hamsters Get Moody Too
Is your hammy bitier than usual? Chances are, it's feeling the blues.
Click here for the science behind their behaviour. It seems some people with pHDs, spiffy white coats and much concern for animal welfare, decided to measure how hammies feel about drinking mystery water (bottles were given that contained either sweet or bitter water). Hammies who had more toys and comfy bedding were more likely to take a chance on the water being bitter than if they had their toys and bedding taken away.
All we learned is that hammies have feelings too. So don't be mean to your hammies.
5. They Eat Their Own Poop
Lastly, hamsters are coprophagic, which means they eat their own fecal matter. For, uh, nutritional reasons.
Oh, that and they do this most often at night, so if you hear your hamster taking a break from its nocturnal ultramarathon, odds are it's having a wee, a poo and maybe a midnight snack!