Animal Encyclopedia for Kids offers animal profiles, animal records and animal knowledge for school and homework, all about pets and a huge pet name database.

Surf Tips: Knowledge articles!

Why do lions roar? And why do male lions have a mane? You'll find out in its animal profile!

Here's an interesting question: Do zebras have black stripes on white fur or white stripes on black fur?

Did you know that Koalas have the hiccups when stressed out? And why do they have opposing thumbs?

Smelly feet are nothing compared to this: Lemurs perform so called stink fights! Check out its animal profile.

Why do Tapirs have such an odd-looking trunk? Learn more about this animal in our fact sheet.

Isn't that weird: Armadillos wear a shells! In fact n other mammal wears a shell. Guess what: that's not the only strange thing about them!

Cheetahs are fast hunters! Would a cheetah be able to kill prey that is larger than itself, e.g. a giraffe?

Wombats are marsupials and quite different from other mammals in many ways. For example, they produce cube-shaped poop!

Do you know why meerkats have dark patches around their eyes? Why do they stand on their hind legs?

Red KangarooRed Kangaroo
This is a quite interesting question: Can kangaroos run or jump backwards? Check out the fact sheet.

Are animals intelligent?Intelligence in the Animal Kingdom
Are animals intelligent? Wait. What even is intelligence? And how do you find out if animals are intelligent?

What is biological diversity? Why is it so important that there are lots of different animals, habitats and landscapes?

Hamster Facts
Size 3-6 in (8-15 cm) (dwarf hamsters); up to 13 in (34 cm) (European hamster)
Speed Up to 3.7 mph (6 km/h)
Weight 0.2-1.9 lb (100-900 g)
Lifespan 2-3 years
Food Seeds, grains, fruits
Predators Owls, falcons, snakes
Habitat Syria, Europe, Siberia, Mongolia, China
Order Rodents
Family Cricetids
Scientific name Cricetinae
Characteristics Small rodent, short tail

Hamsters are little rodents that are closely related to mice. Hamsters are little rodents that are closely related to mice. There exist about 20 species – from dwarf hamsters to golden hamsters and European hamsters. If hamsters didn’t have such an excellent sense of smell, they would have to visit an eye doctor. They can just see objects up to a distance of 15 cm and only perceive movements and differences in brightness. In addition to this, the little cuddly animals are also color-blind.

Hamsters Are Sniffing Experts

When hamsters dare to explore unknown areas, they rub their bodies against many different things. That is nearly the same as with Hänsel and Gretel. But while the fairy-tale characters leave bread crumbs as a trail, the hamster leaves a scent trail. To follow this trail is a piece of cake for the hamster as it has a very fine sense of smell.

What about a hamster as a pet? Check out our pet section and find lots of beautiful hamster breeds as well as detailed infos and pet care tips.

Cream Syrian Hamster Cream Syrian Hamster - Photo: Stanislaw Sulica/Shutterstock

Hamsters Have „All You Can Eat“ Cheek Pouches

Many fast food chains attract their customers with „All You Can Eat“ offers. Yet, after two pizzas the trousers are getting uncomfortably tight and you drag yourself home with a bloated stomach. Hamsters use another technique: They have cheek pouches to store all the food they cannot or do not want to eat right now. When filled to the brim with food, the pouches can be twice or three times as big as the head of the hamster.

The Biggest and the Smallest Hamster

With a length of up to 13 inch (34 cm) and a body weight of up to 1.9 lb (900 g), the European hamster is the biggest species. The smallest is the dwarf hamster Phodopus with a length of 2 inch (53 mm) and a weight of 0.84 oz (24 g).

Chinese Dwarf Hamster Chinese Dwarf Hamster - Photo: gulserinak1955/Shutterstock

Burrow Sweet Burrow

Hamsters like to grub and dig. In the wild, the rodents love to dig burrows branching in many directions. A sign saying “home sweet home” at the entrance of the burrow would be quite appropriate, as hamsters like to have it really cozy underground. Through little bolt-holes and tunnels they reach sleeping spots furnished with grass upholstery and larders lined up to the ceiling with food. The hamster does not even forget to equip its burrow with a toilet as it hates bad smells in its home.

European Hamster European Hamster - Photo: Allocricetulus/Shutterstock

The European Hamster Hides Away During the Winter

Brrr! When it starts to get colder, wild European hamsters are getting nervous: In order to gather food to survive the cold winter months, it even treks distances of up to 12 km per night. In its shopping ... er ... cheek pouches, it carries up to a total of 11 lb (5 kg) (!) of food into its home. As soon as those treasures are safe, the hamster withdraws to a frost-free spot in its burrow, which can reach up to 6.5 ft (2 m) deep into the ground.

During his winter rest, the pulse rate of the hamster slows down from 400 to 4 beats per minute. Its body temperature also decreases: from 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius) to 39 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius). Every few days the hamster wakes up and enters its larder to enjoy a delicious meal.

Where Do Hamsters Come From?

All golden hamsters originate from the Syrian hamster.

Syrian Hamster Syrian Hamster - Photo: Alexruss/Shutterstock

Pupils are welcome to use this information at school for animal profiles, fact sheets, essays, work sheets, presentations, posters or homework. All information appearing on this site has been precisely and thoroughly researched, nevertheless should you notice any errors, please do notify us via email.

• Pets:

Infos and Tipps for Dogs, Cats, Budgies, etc.

You are looking for a pet? Here you will find nearly 100 profiles of family-friendly dog breeds, cat breeds, hamsters, guinea pigs and bird breeds.

• Pet Names Database:

Huge pet name database with more than 1.200 pet names

Whether sweet, smart, funny or in another language - all names are sorted by category, so you can quickly find the right name for your pet.

• Animal Fact Sheets:

More than 190 factsheets withe exiting infos and pictures

Here you will find facts about mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, fish, insects, spiders and invertebrates. You'll also learn what animals are and how they differ from plants.

• Games:

Coloring Pages, Animal Quizzes and Personality Tests

90 Coloring Pages - printable or for coloring online. Test your knowledge in Animal Quizzes. If you want to find out which kind of pet would suit you go ahead and take a personality test.

• Animal Records:

Which are the biggest, fastest, heaviest etc.?

More than 250 records sorted by category. You'll also learn how to distinguish animals that look alike.

• Knowledge:

90 knowledge articles and exciting news

Are there any toxic mammals? Can animals count? How do chameleons change their color? How do animals breathe? Exciting articles and simple explanations!