We are happy to introduce a new member of Darwin Museum collection – a taxidermied European hamster (Cricetus cricetus Linnaeus, 1758).
This cute little fellow looks cozy, hibernating in its nest. During winter hibernation it occasionally wakes up to feed from the storage chambers (containing up to 50 kg of food), where it transports food in its elastic cheek pouches. The usual diet consists of seeds, legumes, root vegetables, grasses, insects, and even small vertebrates (mice, reptiles and amphibians). By Autumn hamster switches to a vegetable only diet, as vegetables and seeds can easily be stored.
The European hamster (Cricetus cricetus), also known as the Eurasian hamster, black-bellied hamster or common hamster - the only species of the genus Cricetus. It’s considered to be the biggest of the Cricetinae Subfamily, growing up to 35 cm long and weighing on average about 700 g. The tail is furred and short. External ears are rather short, covered with darkish hair. The fur is both dense and soft – brown with white patches on the back and black on the belly. The hamster has wide paws with well developed claws.
The European hamster typically lives in low-lying farmland with soft loam or loess soils, although it may also inhabit meadows, gardens or hedges. It is found from Belgium in the west, to Altai, Russia in the east. It is a nocturnal or crepuscular species, spending days in a complex burrow system up to 8 m long.
7 October 2021
Donor Appreciation Day 2021
2 October 2021
World Animal Day celebration at the Darwin Museum