Baby hamsters are super cute and they have some very unique qualities about them. Who knew they would be banned from an entire state? Or that their teeth may have stem cells? There are so many interesting things to learn about the baby hamster!
#1: A Baby Hamster is Called a Pup!
A baby hamster is called a pup, while a mother hamster is called a doe and a father hamster is called a buck. A group of baby hamsters is actually called a horde! A litter of hamsters usually consists of anywhere from eight to ten pups.
#2: Baby Hamster’s Teeth Never Stop Growing
The hamster pup has no roots to its incisor teeth, so they can just go on growing out forever. Pet hamsters manage their teeth by gnawing on chew toys that help keep them ground down. In the wild, hamsters chew on wood to manage their teeth.
Recent research has uncovered the possibility of hamster teeth containing stem cells. If this is the case, they could be useful for tooth regeneration operations that could change dental arts as we know it! Dental researchers are actively experimenting with hamster teeth to explore this possibility.
#3: A Baby Hamster is Born Completely Defenseless
While most babies are very vulnerable when born, the hamster pup is especially in danger. These babies are born hairless, which makes it difficult for them to regulate their body temperature. They’re also born blind and deaf since their eyes and ears are both sealed shut.
Hamster pups stay near their moms to stay safe and well-fed until they gain more independence with age and strength.
#4: Baby Hamsters are Nocturnal
Baby hamster pups prefer being alone. Oftentimes, their size and the fact that they’re solitary causes them to be prey to many animals. Consequently, baby hamsters are nocturnal. Being awake all night gives them an advantage over their predators who will have a harder time seeing them or being able to catch them. They’re able to gather food and other resources they may need all while being protected by the cloak of darkness.
#5: Hamsters Hibernate
Baby hamsters will grow up to hibernate as adults. One way they protect themselves during hibernation is by building tunnels with lots of doors in case an enemy decides to break in. They can quickly avoid the predator by exiting in one of the many doors they’ve made.
Hibernation can last anywhere from one day to an entire week. Hamsters hoard food, which comes in handy for the day-long naps these little creatures like to take.
#6: Baby Hamsters are Illegal in Hawaii
Hawaii has a beautiful, warm climate that is incredibly similar to the one that a hamster thrives in. Hamsters breed very fast in the right climate conditions, so this leads to them being made illegal in Hawaii. Hawaii’s wildlife population is extremely fragile, so they cannot risk a hamster getting loose in the wild and creating whole colonies that would throw this population off.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/Manatchon
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What are baby hamsters called?
While baby hamsters are called pups, the adult males are called bucks and their female counterparts are called does. If this sounds familiar it’s because deer also use doe and buck for their male and female adults.
How much do baby hamsters weigh?
There are almost 20 species of hamsters roaming around the planet and they’re all very small but some are smaller than others. At birth, a hamster pup can weigh anywhere from 1 to 6 or 7 grams. The smallest species, the Roborovski dwarf hamster, weighs only 1 to 2 grams at birth and as adults, they weigh nearly ten times their birth weight.
What do baby hamsters eat?
Baby hamsters depend solely on their mothers’ milk to survive for about the first week of their lives. They begin the weaning process incredibly early compared to most other mammals. After only a short week of life, the pups will begin their diets of solid food including fruits, grains, and pellets if they’re a pet. Depending on the species, hamsters can take up to 40 days to be fully weaned and on an all solid diet.
Where do baby hamsters live?
Hamsters like to live in warm, dry places which make areas like deserts and dunes ideal places for them to make their home in the wild. However, in captivity, we use tanks and cages with many kinds of bedding, activities, and food all with the same goal of keeping the babies warm and dry.
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