Scientists identify key hantavirus receptor

A global team of investigators has identified a key protein involved in Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS), a serious and sometimes fatal respiratory disease, according to research published today in the journal Nature.

Hibernating squirrels and hamsters evolved to feel less cold

The ground squirrel and the Syrian hamster, two rodents that hibernate in the winter, do not feel cold in the same way as non-hibernators, such as rats or mice. Yale researchers have discovered that hibernating rodents evolved ...

Study shows a way to tell if your hamster is happy

(Phys.org)—A pair of researchers at Liverpool John Moores University in the U.K. believe they have found a way to measure happiness in hamsters. In their paper published in Royal Society Open Science, Emily Bethell and ...

France acts to save endangered hamster

Authorities in the French region of Alsace have launched an action plan to save a hamster facing extinction, more than two years after Europe's top court rapped Paris for neglecting the little rodent.

Singing mice protect their turf with high-pitched tunes

Two species of tawny brown singing mice that live deep in the mountain cloud forests of Costa Rica and Panama set their boundaries by emitting high-pitched trills, researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have discovered.

Siberian hamsters show what helps make seasonal clocks tick

Many animals, including humans, have internal clocks and calendars to help them regulate behavior, physiological functions and biological processes. Although scientists have extensively studied the timekeeping mechanisms ...

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Hamster

Hamsters are rodents belonging to the subfamily Cricetinae. The subfamily contains about 25 species, classified in six or seven genera.

Hamsters are crepuscular animals which burrow underground in the daylight to avoid being caught by predators. Their diet includes a variety of foods, including dried food, berries, nuts, fresh fruits and vegetables. In the wild they feed primarily on seeds, fruits and greens, and will occasionally eat burrowing insects. They have an elongated pouch on each side of their heads that extend to their shoulders, which they stuff full of food to be stored, brought back to the colony or to be eaten later.

Although the Golden Hamster (Mesocricetus auratus) was first described scientifically in 1839, it was not until 1930 that researchers were able to successfully breed and domesticate hamsters. Pet Golden Hamsters are descended from hamsters first found and captured in Syria by zoologist Israel Aharoni.

Hamster behavior can vary depending on their environment, genetics, and interaction with people. Because they are easy to breed in captivity, hamsters are often used as lab animals in more economically developed countries. Hamsters have also become established as popular small house pets. Hamsters are sometimes accepted even in areas where other rodents are disliked, and their stereotypically solitary nature can reduce the risk of excessive litters developing in households.

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