Zoological name: The golden hamster (Mesocricetus auratus) and the common or black-bellied hamster are the two examples of ~ many reported species. The golden hamsters are widely used as laboratory animals.
Distribution: Hamsters are distributed in Europe, China and Middle East of Asia.
Habitat: They live in various habitats such as rocky mountain slopes, steppes, cultivated fields and arid and semi-arid regions.
Physical feature: The body weight may reach up to 900 g depending on species. The coat colour of the golden hamster is light reddish brown above and white below. The general morphological features of most hamsters include rounded bodies, short limbs, small tails, large dark eyes, prominent ears, sharp claws and long whiskers. They have thick and soft fur. The distinctive feature of hamster is its cheek pouch. The cheek pouches are used for carrying food materials to their shelters.