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hamsters & gerbils

Pets 101: Hamster
Image: iStockphoto.com/trgowanlock

Pets 101: Hamster

When it comes to rodent pets, hamsters and gerbils fit the description of cute and frisky. These animals originated in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Siberian hamsters and Mongolian gerbils are popular pet species.

The nocturnal pet hamster may run up to 8 miles a night in its wheel. The gerbil takes naps, but can be active 24/7, and is more social than the solitary hamster.

Animal Planet
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How the Wild Hamster Was Tamed

How the Wild Hamster Was Tamed

In the 1930s, a biologist captured a litter of small golden rodents in a Syrian wheat field to use for medical research. They became the "Adam and Eve" of modern pet store hamsters. Find out more. More...

Article
NPR
Cheesman’s Gerbil

Cheesman’s Gerbil

Large black eyes — the better to see you with — sit high on the head of Cheesman’s gerbil, a native of the Arabian Peninsula. Check out the other gerbil species on this site. More...

Article
ARKive
Fighting the Plague in the Great Plains with Gerbils

Fighting the Plague in the Great Plains with Gerbils

The plague is decimating populations of prairie dogs and black-footed ferrets in the U.S. Scientists look to Kazakhstan’s giant gerbils to learn how to control the disease. What’s the connection? More...

Article
Scientific American
Gerbils Likely Pushed Plague to Europe in Middle Ages

Gerbils Likely Pushed Plague to Europe in Middle Ages

Europe is still full of rats, so why isn't the bubonic plague still a problem? A new study says it's because gerbils, not rats, were "suspect zero" in The Black Death. More...

Article
NPR
Gerbils Strut Their Stuff at New England Pageant

Gerbils Strut Their Stuff at New England Pageant

Each year, gerbils compete for “top gerbil,” the equivalent of dogdom's Best in Show. What qualities do they need to come away a winner? More...

Video
AP
Hamster Quiz

Hamster Quiz

It may just be 8 questions, but this quiz will challenge your knowledge about hamsters. Get a certificate when you finish. More...

Interactive
ProProfs
How to Make a Maze For Your Gerbil or Hamster

How to Make a Maze For Your Gerbil or Hamster

Do you have a pet gerbil or hamster? Send it out on an adventure in its very own maze. A step-by-step video shows how to build one with simple materials. More...

Activity
AOL
Human Embryonic Stem Cells Restore Gerbil Hearing

Human Embryonic Stem Cells Restore Gerbil Hearing

Human embryonic stem cells have helped restore hearing in gerbils by growing into auditory neurons that connect to the brain. Some day this therapy may help humans with hearing loss. More...

Article
Scientific American
Pet Care: Gerbils

Pet Care: Gerbils

The gerbil is a social animal. It’s best to adopt two — same-sex siblings might be best — to avoid having a sad and lonely gerbil. A male + female = many babies, up to 20 litters a year! More...

Article
ASPCA

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