The Ultimate Hamster Quiz



9 Questions

What is the subfamily that hamsters belong to?

What is the earliest split among hamsters?

What is the breeding season for hamsters in the Northern Hemisphere?

Which of the following is a behavioral characteristic of hamsters?

What is coprophagy in hamsters?

Which hamster species can live up to three years in captivity?

What is the most commonly kept hamster species as a pet?

What is the purpose of hamster shows?

What is the reason behind the mass cull of hamsters in Hong Kong in December 2021?


Hamsters: Classification, Relationships, History, Description, Senses, Diet, Behavior, Reproduction


  • Hamsters belong to the subfamily Cricetinae, which contains 19 species classified in seven genera.
  • Taxonomists disagree about the most appropriate placement of the subfamily Cricetinae within the superfamily Muroidea.
  • Their evolutionary history is recorded by 15 extinct fossil genera and extends back 11.2 million to 16.4 million years.

Relationships among hamster species:

  • Molecular phylogenetic analysis of 12 of the 17 species was conducted using DNA sequence from three genes.
  • The genus Phodopus represents the earliest split among hamsters.
  • The genus Mesocricetus also forms a clade.
  • The remaining genera of hamsters formed a third major clade.
  • Allocricetulus and Cricetus were sister taxa.


  • Researchers were not able to successfully breed and domesticate hamsters until 1939.
  • The entire laboratory and pet populations of Syrian hamsters appear to be descendants of a single brother–sister pairing.
  • Comparative studies of domestic and wild Syrian hamsters have shown reduced genetic variability in the domestic strain.


  • Hamsters are typically stout-bodied, with tails shorter than body length, and have small, furry ears, short, stocky legs, and wide feet.
  • They have thick, silky fur, which can be long or short, colored black, grey, honey, white, brown, yellow, red, or a mix, depending on the species.
  • Hamsters have scent glands on their flanks (and abdomens in Chinese and dwarf hamsters).
  • Hamsters have poor eyesight; they are nearsighted and colorblind.


  • Hamsters can sense movement around at all times.
  • Hamsters have scent glands which they rub against the surface beneath them, leaving a scent trail.
  • Hamsters catch sounds by having their ears upright.


  • Hamsters are omnivores, which means they can eat meat and vegetables.
  • Hamsters in the Middle East have been known to hunt in packs to find insects for food.
  • Hamsters are hindgut fermenters and often eat their own feces (coprophagy) to recover nutrients digested in the hind-gut, but not absorbed.


  • A behavioral characteristic of hamsters is food hoarding.
  • Most hamsters are strictly solitary.
  • Hamsters communicate through body language to one another and even to their owner.
  • Hamsters are primarily crepuscular (active mostly at dawn and dusk).


  • Hamsters become fertile at different ages depending on their species.

  • Females are in estrus about every four days.

  • The breeding season is from April to October in the Northern Hemisphere.

  • Female hamsters may even eat their own young if they are disturbed while giving birth.Hamsters: Breeding, Weaning, Longevity, Society and Culture, Owner Activism, and more

  • Hamster mothers can be aggressive towards their young if they think they are in danger.

  • Female hamsters may cannibalize their litter if left for extended periods with them.

  • Hamsters are born hairless and blind in a nest the mother has prepared in advance.

  • Hamsters can produce litters every month and can be bred after they are three weeks old.

  • Syrian hamsters typically live no more than two to three years in captivity, while the smaller Roborovski hamster can live up to three years in captivity.

  • The golden or Syrian hamster is the most commonly kept as a pet, while the three species of dwarf hamster are also popular.

  • Hamster shows are events where people gather to judge hamsters against each other based on natural or established varieties of hamsters.

  • Activists in Hong Kong mobilized to promote the adoption of abandoned hamsters after a mass cull of all hamsters purchased after December 22, 2021.

  • Extracted cells of babies' kidneys and adults' ovaries are used to study cholesterol synthesis.

  • Some rodents called "hamsters" are not classified in the hamster subfamily Cricetinae.

  • Hamsters are popular pets in the United Kingdom and the United States.

  • Leonard Goodwin claimed that most hamsters kept in the UK were descended from the colony he introduced for medical research purposes during the Second World War.


Test your knowledge on these adorable furry creatures with our Hamster Quiz! From their classification and evolutionary history to their senses and behavior, you'll learn fascinating facts about hamsters. Challenge yourself with questions on their diet, reproduction, and even society and culture. Whether you're a hamster enthusiast or just curious about these cuddly pets, this quiz is sure to entertain and educate. So, are you ready to become a hamster expert? Take the quiz now!

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