Hamsters are such small and adorable creatures, which is why everyone adores keeping them as pets. But what about hamsters that live in the wild? How often does this thought cross your mind?
Even though Aharoni introduced them to their new environment for the first time, how are the hamsters adjusting to life in the wild? Twenty different species of hamsters can be found across the world. It turns out that hamsters are related to mice, squirrels, and voles.
Out of the twenty species, experts believe that only five of them would make good pets. It is not difficult to find wild hamsters in either Europe or Asia. Hamsters are naturally nocturnal animals, which means they are active during the night and begin their sleep cycle as soon as it is light outside.
Their vision isn’t very good. Therefore, they can’t see as much as other animals, but their senses of smell and taste are highly developed and evolved. In addition, their whiskers are an essential component in the navigational process.
Let’s look at how these furry little creatures live in the wild.
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How Do Hamsters Survive in The Wild?
The fact is that those wild hamsters are still around in sufficient numbers because this is where they were first discovered. The wild population of these hamsters has been around for hundreds of years.
Hamsters have been so domesticated over the last decade that most people can’t even comprehend these furry little creatures had to live in the wild at some point. How did they even survive?
Hamsters And Their Fur
One of the wild hamsters’ most incredible and endearing characteristics is that they can quickly hide. There is fur on every one of these hamsters.
Due to the fur on their bodies, these hamsters can camouflage themselves on the ground. They use flight as a kind of self-defense when faced with dangerous animals.
In addition, the hamsters’ furs shield them from any sudden temperature changes. When the temperature outside is too cold or too hot, these hamsters cover their body with these furs to keep themselves comfortable.
The hamsters’ fur provides them with benefits and protection for their body simultaneously. Hamsters’ fur is one of the most endearing and remarkable characteristics, one factor that adds to their adorable appearance.
Hamsters have a cute and cuddly appearance which is why many people consider keeping hamsters as pets.
Hamsters And Their Tails
Some hamsters have short tails, and some hamsters have long tails. These hamsters have found a practical application for this tail.
These hamsters utilize their tails to help them scale trees and reach other regions beyond their normal range of activity. Their tails are sturdy, and because of their strength, they can hold the hamster firmly in place when it is climbing.
The fact that a hamster has a tail is one of the most effective protection mechanisms, enabling it to thrive in environments exposed to a lot of danger.
The hamsters utilize their tail as a means of climbing and protecting themselves from potential predators that could cause them harm if they were to locate them.
Hamsters And Their Heat Resistant Quality
These hamsters have specialized systems and body mechanisms that set them apart from other rodents.
Since hamsters can adapt to the wide range of temperatures in their natural habitat, you’ll find some hamsters live in colder places while others live in warmer ones.
These hamsters can make it through harsh environments thanks to the mechanisms within their bodies. They can adapt to varying temperatures and survive, regardless of whether it is hot or chilly outside.
Both the hamsters’ internal mechanisms and external appearances are resilient to the severe temperature shifts in their natural environments.
Compared to other types of animals, hamsters have a higher level of adaptability and tolerance to temperature shifts.
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What Do Hamsters Eat in The Wild?
If you are familiar with the food wild hamsters eat, you can take better care of the hamster you keep as a pet.
Pet hamsters enjoy the luxury of having an abundance of food available, but wild hamsters do not. The areas in the wild where hamsters are most commonly found do not have a forgiving nature.
When the weather is nice, wild hamsters gravitate more toward eating fruits, vegetables, grains, and nuts. These are the kinds of foods that would be perfect for a wild hamster to eat. An interesting tidbit is that the first Syrian hamsters were found in a wheat field.
When they cannot locate such nutritious food, hamsters resort to eating other tiny creatures to satisfy their needs. Small insects, lizards, frogs, and other small animals are included in this category of organisms.
The hamsters’ digestive processes are not very efficient. Therefore, they waste a significant portion of the food they eat. This is why their feces include a large amount of food that has not been digested.
Therefore, wild hamsters will even consume their feces on particularly bad days when they can’t find anything else to eat.
The food they eat might be one of the reasons hamsters don’t seem to survive very long in the wild. They are susceptible to ailments primarily caused by the meals they consume at a young age. Because there is not enough food, many of the hamsters end up passing away.
There’s no denying that life in the wild may be difficult for these adorable tiny creatures.
Where Do These Wild Hamsters Live?
If you educate yourself on the hamster’s natural environment, you can take better care of it and be a better owner.
Have you ever wondered why your cherished hamster’s insatiable need to burrow? This is because, in the wild, they excavate the ground and construct tunnels underneath. As a result, burrowing is hard-wired into their instincts.
In contrast to common household pets such as dogs and cats, Hamsters are naturally predatory animals. It implies that they must maintain high vigilance to live in the wild.
They construct their nests underground to protect their young from potential threats such as foxes and eagles. They even construct elaborate networks of tunnels to get away from their enemies in a secure manner.
Hamsters have an innate ability to conceal themselves. Domesticated hamsters have the same hard-wired tendency to camouflage themselves as wild hamsters.
Burrowing is a natural activity for hamsters; therefore, their bodies are ideally suited for the task. Their teeth are always developing further.
It makes digging the soil easier for hamsters to do it more effectively. The hamsters’ claws are also ideally adapted for digging tunnels beneath the earth because of their form and size.
The fact that these innocent creatures survived the challenges of their period is a credit to evolution.
Hamsters in the wild are not accustomed to surfaces they cannot dig. Because of this, some types of bedding, such as wood shavings and shredded cardboard, are considered superior to others. The hamsters will find it an extremely cozy spot to rest their heads.
How the Ancestors of Hamsters Survived in the Wild
It is a common misunderstanding that all hamsters descended from the same stock of progenitors. This is completely incorrect.
There are around 26 distinct species of hamsters found in the wild. There is not a single hamster among these that is the product of purposeful breeding.
Each of these breeds has its unique form, proportions, and coloring, which sets it apart from the others. Even the hamsters’ personalities are shaped by the breeds they were born into.
There are several types of dogs whose natural habitats are very close, while other breeds reside on completely different continents.
There are also no records of hamsters being intentionally bred together to produce new species of hamsters. As a result, it is reasonable to assume that various hamsters descended from multiple parents.
Our Final Thoughts
Hamsters are most commonly discovered in their natural habitats, including woodlands, grasslands, and even deserts. They consume seeds, fruits, and foliage as part of their diet and reside in underground tunnels. Hamsters are social animals that live in groups underground in burrows.
During the day, they sleep, and at night, they venture out searching for food. What do you consider the most interesting characteristic of wild hamsters, and in what ways do you believe they are distinct from the hamsters we keep in our homes?
Even if you decide to keep a hamster as a pet, you must provide them with a proper diet that includes at least 16 percent protein and 5 percent fat. Hamsters don’t tend to live that long, but if they are properly taken care of, they have a chance of a good life with you!
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My name is Everly. I am a Milwaukee-based mom of 2 and have been a proud owner of many hamsters throughout my life. Like many of us, my introduction to hamsters happened when I was very young. My family saw several hamsters come and go through the years, and I enjoyed playing with them, but I never fully appreciated them until I grew up and my own children decided to jump on the hamster bandwagon. At that point, I was determined to learn all I could about caring for these adorable pets. Read more