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Posted by on Jul 23, 2015 in Tell Me Why |

How Did the Hamster Get Its Name?

How Did the Hamster Get Its Name?

The hamster gets its name from the German word hamstern, which means “to hoard.” This is because the hamster does just that — it hoards food. Hamsters are native to Europe and Asia. This little member of the mouse and rat family digs deep underground dens.

Hamsters come out at night to look for seeds, vegetables and insects to eat. Hamsters stuff food into their large cheek pouches and carry it back to their nests. Some of the food is eaten, but the greater part is set aside to eat when food is scarce.

A mother hamster is very protective. If she fears that her babies are in danger, she will put the babies in her mouth pouches and carry them to safety. Hamsters make lively, happy pets.

Hamsters are small rodents with short tails, stubby legs and small ears. Hamsters have many different colors. Hamsters have very poor eyesight. Their scent glands on their backs secrete an easily identifiable smell.

To find their way around, they leave a trail of scent by rubbing their backs against objects. When a hamster needs to find their way back home, they will use this scent trail as a guide.

Hamster’s teeth grow continually. Chewing on wood or twigs keeps their teeth short. Without something to chew on, their teeth would grow so long they would injure the roof of the mouth and lips.

Content for this question contributed by Brittany Hoff, resident of Longmeadow, Hampden County, Massachusetts, USA