hamster

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Related to Hampster: Hamster Breeds

hamster,

Old World rodentrodent,
member of the mammalian order Rodentia, characterized by front teeth adapted for gnawing and cheek teeth adapted for chewing. The Rodentia is by far the largest mammalian order; nearly half of all mammal species are rodents.
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, related to the voles, lemmings, and New World mice. There are many hamster species, classified in several genera. All are solitary, burrowing, nocturnal animals, with chunky bodies, short tails, soft, thick fur, and large external cheek pouches used for holding food. Some of the larger species have scent glands on the flanks; the scent is used for territorial marking. Hamsters feed on grain and other plant matter and are serious agricultural pests in many parts of their range. The common, or European, hamster, Cricetus cricetus, of the temperate parts of Europe and W Asia, is reddish brown with black underparts and white patches on the nose, cheeks, throat and flanks. It is about 12 in. (30 cm) long, with a very short tail. It stores grain in its chambered burrow for use in winter during interruptions of hibernation. The Syrian, or golden, hamster, Mesocricetus auratus, of E Europe and W Asia, is familiar as a laboratory animal and pet, but is little known in the wild state; all of the domestic stock is descended from a single group captured in 1930. About 6 in. (15 cm) long, it is lighter colored than the common hamster, with white underparts. Rat-tailed, or Eurasian, hamsters (C. cricetulus) are widely distributed through Europe and Asia; these somewhat longer-tailed forms are quite fierce, preying on other rodents as well as on lizards and small birds, although their diet is mostly vegetarian. Other hamsters are found in Europe and Asia, and species of the hamster genus Mystromys, called white-tailed rats, are found in Africa. Hamsters are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Rodentia, family Cricetidae. See mousemouse,
name applied to numerous species of small rodents, often having soft gray or brown fur, long hairless tails, and large ears. The chief distinction between these animals and the variety of rodents called rats is in size: mice are usually smaller.
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Hamster

 

the common name for rodents of the three genera Cricetulus, Phodopus, and Calomyscus of the subfamily Cricetinae. The body length is 8.5 to 22 cm, and the tail length is 1.2 to 10 cm. There are 13 species, distributed in southeastern Europe, West Asia, Central Asia, and East Asia. The USSR has seven species. Most species inhabit valley and mountain steppes, low rocky hills, and deserts; only Cricetulus triton inhabits swampy shrub thickets. All species are small in number. The most common species are Cricetulus migratorius, Phodopus sungorus, and Calomyscus bailwardi.

hamster

[′ham·stər]
(vertebrate zoology)
The common name for any of 14 species of rodents in the family Cricetidae characterized by scent glands in the flanks, large cheek pouches, and a short tail.

hamster

any Eurasian burrowing rodent of the tribe Cricetini, such as Mesocricetus auratus (golden hamster), having a stocky body, short tail, and cheek pouches: family Cricetidae. They are popular pets

hamster

(programming)
(From Fairchild) A particularly slick little piece of code that does one thing well; a small, self-contained hack. The image is of a hamster happily spinning its exercise wheel.

hamster

(hardware)
A tailless mouse; that is, one with an infrared link to a receiver on the machine, as opposed to the conventional cable.

hamster

(product)
(UK) Any item of hardware made by Amstrad, a company famous for its cheap plastic PC-almost-compatibles.
References in periodicals archive ?
We are thrilled to be the recipients of the charity bat program partnership between Louisville Slugger and Hampster Direct," says Kathleen McCarty, Development Director for the Leukemia Research Foundation.
I am honored to be a part of this historic first bat produced for the public," stated John Obie, spokesperson for Hampster Direct, Louisville Sluggers distributor.
More than 70 hampsters as well as rabbits and finches perished as temperatures soared in the vehicle parked at the University of Ulster campus in Coleraine.
Animated hampsters dancing to their heart's content while singing a joyful high-pitched song.
She plans to explore this link by studying hampsters, a species in which low testosterone concentrations have already been linked with normal parental behaviors.