Campbell's Dwarf Hamster (Phodopus campbelli) - Wiki
Campbell's dwarf hamster
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[Photo] Dwarf Campbell's Russian Hamster.
Dwarf Campbell's russian hamster (Phodopus campbelli)(phos/phodos (Gr), a burn, a blister ??? pous (Gr) the foot; the tubercles on the soles of the feet form a blister-like mass) is a species of dwarf hamsters living in the Steppes and semi deserts of Central Asia; the Altai mountains Tuvinskaya Autonomous Region (Tuva), Transbaikalia, Mongolia, Nei Mongol (Inner Mongolia), and the adjacent parts of Heilungkiang and Hebei provinces of Northeastern China. It is sometimes called Djungarian (or Dzungarian), Russian, and often times mistakenly labeled as Siberian or Winter White dwarf hamster, another closely related species of hamster, that is so called as in the winter it's fur turns white, an odd form of camouflage. Another name is "Pouched Tuvan", since the species was originally encountered in that country. There has been some debate over the classification of Campbell's hamster and its closely related cousin, the Winter white Russian dwarf hamster, but now the two species are usually classified as Phodopus campbelli and P. sungorus, respectively.
The Campbell's was discovered by W.C. Campbell in Tuva, Mongolia, in 1902. The species may also be found in northern China, central Asia, and some parts of Russia.
The Campbell's hamster inhabits the steppes of eastern and central Asia, digging burrows which may extend up to three feet underground. These burrows are commonly lined with scavenged sheep's wool and dry grasses; these burrows maintain an average temperature of 62 degrees Fahrenheit. Natural predators include various owls, foxes, falcons, and weasels.
Campbell's hamsters have an average lifespan of 18-24 months when raised in captivity. Becoming sexually mature at only 5 weeks, their litters usually consist of 4-6 pups although up to 14 has been known in a single litter, birthed after a gestation period of 18-21 days. The pair may mate again immediately after birth. Unlike other hamster species, especially the Syrian hamsters, the male plays an active role in birth and rearing. He may assist the female in pulling pups from the birth canal, cleaning them, and ensuring the new mother has enough to eat. He may also guard them while the female is away from the nest.
Unlike Syrian hamsters, Campbell's dwarfs are sociable and may be kept in colonies. If the hamsters are introduced at a young age, generally younger than 8 weeks, they will often happily coexist in same- or mixed-sex groups. (Note that mixed-sex groups should be avoided as hamsters are lively breeders.) They are crepuscular, meaning that they are most active at dawn and at dusk.
Diabetes is becoming a common problem in some breeding lines of Campbell's hamsters and is an inherited problem. Hamsters suffering from diabetes should not be fed any sugary foods (including fruit, yogurt drops, and some mass-manufactured "treats") or bred from.
Like all hamsters, Campbell's dwarfs are rodents and therefore must gnaw regularly to keep the incisors from growing into the skin of the mouth and causing health problems. Some pet owners may provide dog biscuits to assist with this. Wooden chew toys should be used with care as splinters may injure the hamster.
In the wild, Campbell's dwarfs consume a variety of grains, seeds, and vegetables. However, pet owners may experience problems when attempting to approximate this wild diet. These hamsters should be kept away from many common foods, some of which may be suitable for other rodents.
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