hamster


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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 ?
During the study, hamsters were switched between enriched and non-enriched conditions, and this was reflected in their mood.
The Hamster Pro Duo/CL was developed in close collaboration with one of our partners.
Lisa Stewart's hamster survived having a pail of water toppled over his cage during cleaning and was promptly renamed Flash.
Hamsters are naturally curious about their surroundings, hamster balls are the perfect way to keep them safe while allowing them to explore
In general, it is always advisable to check your hamster daily for any signs of ailment.
The moment that hamster was handed off to a screaming girl in a harsh, frenzied environment was likely the moment it gazed at the short path to its doom," the spokesperson said.
A cute hamster on a wheel adds interest to the page numbers.
The hamster had dug himself out of the grave after having only been hibernating, which hamsters are prone to do when temperatures fall below 50 degrees.
A "Pet a Hamster Here" sign beckoned from the table of Critter Valley Ranch, a hamster breeder in Springfield, shared with Big Daddy Graphics.
Gibson worked on the new hamster study, which was presented at a meeting of neuroscientists in San Diego on November 15.
Anthony Parker, below, admitted killing his "favourite" hamster following an alcohol-fuelled row with his girlfriend.
Zhu Zhu Pets accessories include: Hamster funhouse, Hamster wheel, Hamster-car and garage, slide with ramp, Adventure ball, Surfboard and wagon, Skateboard and U-turn, Pet bed and blanket and Pet carrier and blanket.