Archive for the ‘Biology of Hamster’ Category
Hamsters through out the developed world are used for research purposes. Annually only in America 1,000,000 hamsters are used in laboratories to carry out researches. The reasons for them being used the most are
• Availability and ease of reproduction
• Relative freedom from spontaneous diseases along with weakness to introduce pathogenic agents such as viruses, bacteria and other micro organisms that causes diseases
• Anatomical and physiological features with unique potential for study
• Rapid development and short life cycle
Chinese Hamsters are known laboratory animals and they are preferred because of their temperament and calm nature. It has been used to carryout researches on infectious diseases, radiobiological, endocrine, carcinogenic and mutagenic research.
Syrian Hamster is then the second best choice for carrying out researches because of their susceptibility to N-diethyl nitrosamine with the resultant development of respiratory tumors. They are considered highly suitable for researches that are for highly concentrated and prolonged smoke inhalation studies.
Armenian Hamster is used for research to study meiosis and their susceptibility to carcinogenic and mutagenic agents. The former is used for the propagation of cancer and the later deals with changing the genetic material that is DNA and thus results in increasing the process of mutation.
Hamsters get fertile at different ages depending on the specie they belong to; Hamsters can get pregnant at the age of 4 to 8 weeks, as few are fertile at the age of 4 weeks, some at 6 weeks and all are at 8 weeks. Usually it’s recommended for them not to breed before they are 4 months old and after the first gestation they should breed after 7-9 months.
Male Syrian Hamster become fertile around 10-14 weeks old, where as female Syrian hamster is fertile by 6-10 weeks old. One gestation can produce 4-12 Hamsters. The life of female Syrian Hamster can shorten if she has multiple gestations; Syrian Hamsters are fertile for 12 months.
Roborovski Hamster are fertile at 4-5weeks. The gestation can produce 3-5 hamsters. It is recommended for them not to conceive until female are 3-4 months old and male 2-3 months of age. Gestation period for Roborovski Hamster is 18-21 days.
Chinese dwarf Hamsters are fertile at the age of 6-8weeks. However they should not breed until they are 4 months old. Gestation period is 23-30days.
When the pregnancy is over the male and the female should be separated, the gestation takes a lot of energy from the female and getting pregnant immediately after one can have serious repercussions on her health.
Don’t disturb the nest at the time of gestation and provide some privacy at the time when the female is giving birth to her pups. After the period of delivery let the female take care of all her pups because if you make noise or otherwise disturb them the female is going to eat the pups out of fear to save them from any threat.
There is a wide array of Hamsters to choose from that are kept as pet, the one that is most commonly adopted as pet is the Syrian or Golden Hamster; this specie of Hamster is called by many names mostly for commercial reasons as Fancy Hamster, Honey Bear, Panda Bear, Black Bear, European Black Bear, Polar Bear, Teddy Bear and Dalmatian depending on their coloration.
People also like Dwarf Hamsters; it has four different species that are popular and kept as pets, Russian Dwarf is the common of all those four species, there is a very interesting fact about the Winter White Russian Dwarf Hamster the coat turn almost white during winter when the hours of daylight decrease.
Another specie in the Dwarf Hamster category is Roborovski Hamster; which is recommended for those who need a pet that is fun to watch and required less personal handling, they are very small and active. They are very hard to catch and are very social as opposed to some other species of Hamster if the two are introduced properly they can easily live together and do anything
Chinese Hamster Is another specie of Hamster though it is not related to the social dwarf category but they are very calm, easily handled and gentle as compared to other and one of its endearing trait is that it cling to finger with all four paws commonly used at laboratories for research. It is the only Hamster that has a prehensile tail.