Where Do Hamsters Come From? Origins Around The World

Are you fascinated by your pet hamster?

He loves eating at night, making burrows in his cage, and running on his wheel. But what else do you know about him?

Where do hamsters come from?

We’ve investigated the origins of some of the most common hamster species. Get to know more about your pet and where his roots are from with the help of this article!

Species of HamsterOrigin
Syrian hamster (Golden hamster)Syria and Turkey
Roborovski hamster (Dwarf hamsters) Central Asia
Teddy bear hamsterSyria
European hamsterGermany
Chinese hamsterChina and Mongolia
Djungarian hamsterKazakhstan, Mongolia, Siberia, Manchuria

But where exactly are each of these hamsters from and what else do we know about these fluffy pets?

Coming up next, we’ll be going into detail about the origins of each hamster species and what you need to know about them.

Let’s begin!

The Origins of Hamsters Around the World

What species is your hamster?

There are over 20 types of hamsters which are all unique and from different parts of the globe.

Where do hamsters come from?

Let’s find out!

Coming up, you’ll see a list of the most common types of hamsters and where they originated from. Knowing this will help you to understand more about your furry friend and how best to look after him.

The Syrian Hamster (Golden Hamster)

This type of hamster is one of the most popular pet hamster varieties. But have you ever wondered…

Where do wild Syrian hamsters come from?

The Syrian or Golden hamster origins from the arid region of northern Syria and southern Turkey. That’s right, his grandparents likely traveled a long way to reach your home!

To be even more specific, the original home address of wild Syrian hamsters was near the city of Aleppo in Northwest Syria. What a journey!

The Roborovski Hamster

dwarf hamster

Roborovski hamsters (also called dwarf hamsters and the Roborovski dwarf hamster) are well known for their long lives when compared with other types of hamsters. They have an average lifespan of up to 4 years in captivity and 2 years in the wild.

These hamsters are nocturnal (awake at night), unlike guinea pigs who are diurnal (awake during the day). They are famous for their speed and can run up to 6 miles during the night.

Imagine doing that instead of hitting the sack in the evening!

Fun facts aside, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of it.

Where do Robo hamsters come from?

Key Takeaway:

Roborovski hamsters originate from the deserts of Central Asia including Mongolia, and northern Russia. They live in regions of China like Xinjiang and around lake Zaysan in Kazakhstan.

They’re not the only odd pet to originate from the desert either, as some snakes live in deserts around the world too.

So, this leads us to your next question.

Where did these small animals get the big name Roborovski from?

The Roborovski dwarf hamsters got their name from the Russian expeditioner that first discovered them in July 1894. His name was Lt. Vsevolod Roborovski.

The Teddy Bear Hamster

Now, this hamster species definitely wins the prize for the cutest name of all…the teddy bear hamster! His official name is the long-haired Syrian hamster (but we like the name teddy bear hamster).

Why are they called that? Because their large ears and small dark eyes make them look like teddy bears.

Where do teddy bear hamsters come from?

Teddy bear hamsters or long-haired Syrian hamsters are from northern Syria.

The European Hamster

Now here’s a breed of hamster that you are less likely to find in a cage. This is the European hamster.

european hamster

This breed belongs to the family of wild hamsters that is rather territorial and aggressive which is why they are not popular pets. These are solitary animals and in the hamster’s natural habitat, each one lives in its own burrow.

That’s right; there are no roommates with these guys!

Where is this wild hamster from?

European hamsters were first found in the industrial area of western Germany. They also live in the lowlands of central and eastern Europe.

European hamsters might be feisty, but they are certainly doing something right, as in the wild, they can live for up to 8 years. That’s plenty longer than other hamsters!

The Chinese Hamster

This type of hamster is famous for its unusually long tail. Most other species of adult hamsters have short and stubby tails.

Where are they from?

Chinese hamsters are from the deserts of northern China and Mongolia. Some people keep them as pets but in some states of America, they are banned and are on the list of pests.

This type of hamster is also endangered and many efforts are underway to breed and repopulate them. So make sure you do whatever you can to look after this little guy!

The Djungarian Hamster

djungarian hamster

Now this one’s a little tricky to pronounce!

The Djungarian hamster originates from the wheat fields of Kazakhstan, regions of Mongolia, Siberia, and even Manchuria.

But you might also know him as the Russian dwarf hamster or the Striped dwarf hamster. He’s also often called the Siberian hamster, the Siberian dwarf hamster, and the Winter white dwarf hamster.

Why is it called the Winter white dwarf hamster?

Well for starters, it is about half the size of the Syrian hamster, so it’s pretty tiny.

Also, in the winter, it replaces its dark fur with almost all white fur. Yes, it is one of the only hamsters that has a complete change of look for the winter.

Who would have thought a hamster could be so stylish?

Do Hamsters Live In the Wild?

Pet shops often sell hamsters that make the perfect mascots for children and adults alike. But if you’ve only ever seen caged hamsters, you might wonder…

Can hamsters survive in the wild?

Let’s start by confirming that wild hamsters most certainly do exist and live in the wild. These rodents hunt for food, dodge predators, and have their litter in deserts and some colder climates.

How do they survive?

Hamsters actually do pretty well out in the open as long as they are able to dodge their predators. In fact, some species are able to live longer in the wild than they would in captivity.

Some hamsters, such as European hamsters, live remarkably long in their natural habitat. Their lifespan is up to 8 years!

Incredible, right?

So what animals pose a threat to these rodents?

Here is a list of some of the animals they need to steer clear of if they want to survive out in the open.

  • Snakes
  • Birds such as kites, buzzards, and lesser-spotted eagles
  • Red foxes
  • Domestic dogs
  • Ermine

What kind of food do they eat in the wild?

The wild hamster is a clever and resourceful rodent. It will eat a mixture of seeds, cereals, insect larvae, and insects on a regular basis and wash it all down with water.

Where Do Syrian Hamsters Live In the Wild?

Syrian hamsters, also known as Golden hamsters are native to Syria and Turkey. To locate these hamster populations, you will need to travel to the arid region of northern Syria and southern Turkey.

Syrian hamsters in the wild are very hygienic creatures. They regularly clean their living quarters and get rid of moldy or rotten food from among their hoard.

Not bad for a wild animal, right?

These animals keep their teeth short by chewing on rough food which they store in their cheek pouches on the way back to their burrows. When there is a lot of food to glean, they may even stuff their cheek pouches so full they can no longer close their mouths!

Now it sounds like these wild animals know how to prepare a hearty meal!

The Origins of Wild and Pet Hamsters

There are about 20 species of hamsters known to man that are unique and have originated from slightly different places across the world.

Today, we looked through wild hamsters from Syria like Syrian hamsters and the famous domesticated hamsters known as Teddy bear hamsters. And also other wild rodents like the European hamster from Germany.

In addition, we have looked at some interesting information about domesticated hamsters and wild ones from Asia. These include Dwarf, Chinese, and Djungarian hamsters.

Have you enjoyed reading about these different species of hamsters and their origins? Then check out some of the other informative articles where you will learn more about Oddly Cute Pets of every kind.

Thanks for reading!

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