The teddy bear hamster, also known as the Syrian hamster, is one of the most popular pet hamsters in the US.
With their cute appearance, easy care requirements, and good temperament with children, it’s no wonder they’re such a hit. However, there’s a lot of interesting facts about teddy bear hamsters that most people don’t know about.
Here are ten things that you didn’t know about the teddy bear hamster:
1). They Came to America from Syria Less Than a Hundred Years Ago
As you can tell by their name, the Syrian “teddy bear” hamster comes from Syria. There, they were discovered by a zoologist named Israel Aharoui in 1930.
He put the hamsters into captivity and brought them over to the U.K. and the US. By the 1940s, they had become popular for both British and American pet owners.
2). They’re Nocturnal
Teddy bear hamsters are active at night and asleep during the day. This is an instinct developed from their natural habitat in Syria.
Being active at night would have not only helped them avoid predators, but also protect themselves from the hot sun.
3). The Females Have Longer Lifespans Than the Males
Though not by much. Females are more likely to make it to the three-year maximum lifespan of a teddy bear hamster than males, who usually make it to two years.
4). There Are over Forty Colors of the Teddy Bear Hamster
This includes variations of gold, brown, gray, white, black, cinnamon, and other colors. If you’re looking for a pet in a certain color, there is probably a teddy bear hamster that matches it!
5). Hips Glands Help Them See
The teddy bear hamster, like most hamsters, have poor eyesight. To help them see, they have scent glands located near their hips that help them see.
They rub their hips on objects and then sniff around, helping them figure out their surroundings. The locations of the scent glands are called “hip spots.”
6). Speaking of Which, They Are Also Colorblind
A little sad, since they can’t see all the fun colors that they come in, but its a common trait in many hamster breeds.
7). Their Teeth Never Stop Growing
This is another common hamster trait. Like other hamsters, teddy bear hamsters need to constantly be gnawing on something to keep the teeth short.
They usually like to chew on hard objects like pieces of wood or twigs. If they don’t keep their teeth in check, the teeth will keep growing and can possibly injure them.
8). Hair Grows Differently on Males and Females
Males have a long coat of fur around their neck. It parts down the back and fluffs out around the hind-end. On the other hand, females have long fluffy hair, though the males’ hair is longer than the females’ hair.
9). They’re Surprisingly Fragile
Despite their stocky appearance, the teddy bear hamster is quite delicate. A fall of a coffee table or from the hands of the toddler can injure them badly. It’s important that they’re handled gently, especially by children.
10). They like to Be Alone
Teddy bear hamsters are solitary animals. While they are usually good with people, they shouldn’t be caged with other hamsters. If they are, there is a chance that they will fight with the other hamsters, or have unwanted breeding.
Now You Know More About the Teddy Bear Hamster!
Know a fun fact about the teddy bear hamster that we missed on our list? Let us know about it in the comments section below!