Hamsters are beautiful little creatures and have a very distinctive and cute appearance. Here's our quick introduction to the appearance of a hamster.
Hamsters, in a way, look like small bears. Especially when they stand up on their rear legs and start dancing around! A hamster has bold and shiny eyes with large and upright ears. Their tail is very short at around 2.5cm in length, covered partly in short hair.
Hamsters normally have thick, sleek hair, unless it's a Rex or Long-Haired type. Hamsters have a lot less hair on their tummy compared to the amount they have on the upper side of their body. A hamsters skin actually fits quite loosely over it's body.
Hamsters have four toes and a basic thumb on each front leg, with five toes on their back leg which are much more developed. Hamsters have feet and sharp claws which are well designed for climbing and digging.
Hamsters have relatively strong muscles on their hind legs. Perfect for crawling backwards and forwards in the wild through their narrow and winding burrows. Hamsters have quite short legs, making their strut look a little bit like a waddle!
The hamster's most unique feature are it's cheeks. They contain pouches into which a hamster will stuff a vast amount of food! A hamster's head will expand to almost double it's normal size when the cheek pouches are full, which makes for a very amusing appearance.
The pouches aren't connected to the hamster's digestive system, and are located in the hamster's shoulders, neck and head. The pouches stretch to double their normal size when crammed full of food.
A hamster will push at it's pouches with it's small paws when it decides to empty the food into it's favourite hiding place.
As the hamster is a rodent, it is well prepared in the dental department with great gnawing teeth set in really strong jaws. A hamster's teeth extended deep into the jaw. They grow at a rate which matches how fast the teeth are worn away from almost non-stop gnawing and chewing.
Amazingly, a hamster's teeth never stop growing. For this reason it's really important to supply your hamster with plenty of things to nibble and chew on which helps stop the hamster's teeth from growing too big.
Hamster's have four 'rodent' teeth to cut things with, as well as molars further back to grind things.
Male or female?
It's quite easily to sex a hamster. To tell whether a hamster is male or female, you can do so by just looking. An aerial view of a male hamster will show a longer body with a tapered bottom end. A female's rear will be more rounded and blunt.
Female hamsters are heavier than male hamsters. Females will be around 50-80g heavier than males, and about 2-5cm longer too.