Gray hamster: description and features of the species
Gray hamster is a small squad animalrodents. The habitat of the animal is very wide, but the number of individuals inside it gradually decreases. What does the hamster look like? Description of the appearance and lifestyle of this rodent read below.
Appearance of the animal
Gray hamster is a small rodent, whose size does not exceed 13 centimeters. The weight of the animal is about three hundred grams. It fits freely on the palm of an adult.
At first sight it is easy to confuse with the volesbecause of round ears and a little pointed muzzle. From the mouse the gray hamster has a short tail (2-3 cm) and paws, which are densely covered with downy. But his ears and cheek pouches are large.
This small animal can not resistpredatory enemies, so its coloring performs a camouflage function. The hamster's fur is painted in gray shades, sometimes red. Stripe on the ridge, from head to tail, there is darkening. Abdomen, paws and tail light, almost white.
By its "habits" gray hamster remindshamster ordinary. He likes to settle in forest thickets and around the edges of fields. With the increase of the lands mastered by man, some representatives of the species began to settle in the homes of people.
Noru prefers not to build the animal himself. If it finds an empty "room" left by a mole, mouse or other animals, it will necessarily take it. When there is nothing to choose from, the hamster starts building.
He digs deep holes, the entrance to which isslightly inclined. The depth of the burrow reaches 30-40 centimeters. As a rule, it has several compartments: one is used for storing grass, another for grain, and the third for the animal itself.
The gray hamster has a predominantly nocturnal lifestyle. More than 300 meters from home, he does not like to depart. But if you have to go further, you find your home without problems.
The period of active reproduction occurs in the spring. After the first appearance of the offspring, as a rule, up to 10 individuals, the hamster can acquire a re-brood, or even two. In winter, the animal falls into a shallow hibernation. However, if it gets into favorable conditions, it can multiply even in the cold period.
What does the hamster eat?
From the plant food gray hamster prefersseeds of cereals, sedges, wormwood. It also suits seeds and seeds of cultivated plants, for example, cherries, sunflowers, cherries, watermelon, etc. Unlike other family members, it often uses soft green parts of plants. Coarse food, such as wild grass, he does not tolerate.
Do not disdain the animal and animal feed. He freely uses worms, snails, larvae, caterpillars, beetles and even small mammals. During the search for food, he can show excessive aggressiveness and attack mice and gophers. Sometimes the animal gets into their holes, kills the hosts and gradually eats.
In his dwelling there are several storerooms, which he tries to score well for the winter. Before the arrival of cold weather, the hamster manages to collect food three to four times its own weight.
Gray Hamster: Red Book
Typical habitat of the animal are the steppes,forest-steppe, fields, deserts and semi-deserts. He avoids wet areas. The species is distributed from Eastern Europe to Western China. Its range includes the area from the northern forest-steppe to Northern India, Iran, Pakistan, Jordan.
Despite the wide range of distribution, individualshamsters relatively little. According to observations of zoologists, half a century ago the animal was one of the main inhabitants of the steppe. Now the animal is infrequent. There is no precise data on its strength.
In the regional Red Books of Russia, a hamster inthe third category is mostly assigned. It refers to rare species with a small number, which are sporadically distributed over a wide area. The animal is listed in the Book of Tula, Lipetsk, Chelyabinsk, Samara, Ryazan and other regions.
In the Red Data Book of Ukraine there is also grayhamster. The cause of extinction is the same as that of many other inhabitants of the steppe and fields: the change in natural landscapes due to human economic activity. The use of pesticides and fertilizers in the fields is adversely affected, as well as the fact that the animal lives close to the boundaries of its range.