(Last Updated On: April 15, 2021)

The Turkish hamster, Mesocricetus brandti, additionally known as Brandt’s hamster, Azerbaijani hamster, or avurtlak, is a species of hamster native to Turkey, Armenia, and different surrounding nations.

Turkish Hamster Profile

The Turkish hamster is the closest relative of the well-known Golden hamster (Mesocricetus auratus). It is about 17 centimeters long with a weight of around 130 grams.

The species lives in Turkey, Iraq, and Israel. The Turkish hamster is a typical inhabitant of steppes the place it builds easy burrows. It feeds on seeds and crops. Only a little or no knowledge of natural habitats is offered.

The majority of our data on this species comes from laboratory analysis. Animals have been exported from Turkey to the United States in 1965.

The Turkish hamster, first cataloged in 1878, is a reasonably shut relative of the Syrian or golden hamster, although far much less is understood about it, and it’s not often saved as a pet.

The inhabitants of the Turkish hamster are alleged to be declining within the wild, but this hamster is usually utilized in laboratory testing. Turkish hamsters have lifespans of about two years and are solitary, nocturnal animals, which apply hibernation.

They are reported to be more aggressive than different members of the family Cricetidae. They are tan and darkish, sandy brown in coloration. Like all hamsters, the Turkish hamster has cheek pouches that enable it to hold giant quantities of meals at one time.

Turkish hamster, Mesocricetus brandti

Turkish Hamster Habitat and behavior

Hamsters are discovered within the wild all through Europe and Asia and are thought-about to be extraordinarily adaptable, residing in scrublands, sand dunes, desert steppes, and farmlands.

The land where the Turkish hamster lives are extraordinarily dry and open, with pretty little vegetation apart from grasses. Turkish hamsters normally stay between 1,000 and a couple of,200 meters above sea level.

This hamster burrows within the ground for shelter, and its burrows could be 20 inches to six feet beneath the ground floor. These burrows are complicated, consisting of a number of tunnels resulting in separate cells for nesting, meals, and waste.

Turkish hamster burrows are well-enough outfitted for the hamsters to hibernate for 4 to 10 months (although sources do differ on this level), generally sleeping for 30 days at a time, although normally waking weekly for a day or two of exercise.

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Turkish hamsters have pretty various diets, subsisting totally on grains and herbs. They do eat bugs every now and then and retailer roots and leaves of their burrows for hibernation. As Turkish hamsters typically stay close to and amongst farmlands, they typically eat human crops and are thought-about a pest.

Population and endangerment

The Turkish hamster is an uncommon species, however is probably the most widespread of the family Cricetidae. Its capacity to stay in a wide range of environments means the Turkish hamster typically lives on farmlands, and is considered as and managed as an agricultural pest.

In 1996, the Turkish hamster was categorized as an animal with the bottom threat of extinction, however as a result of instances of direct poisoning by farmers, it’s now close to threatened. More knowledge is wanted to know the inhabitant’s decline.

Turkish Hamster Reproduction

Turkish hamsters are weaned from their moms after three weeks of nursing. After eight weeks of age, females are sexually mature, however, males don’t mature till six months of age. According to iucnredlist.org,

Turkish hamsters have two to 4 litters of younger per year, with 4 to 20 younger per litter, averaging 10. Petwebsite.com differs on this level, arguing the litter size is between one and 13 younger, with an average of 6.

The gestation lasts from 14 to 15 days or 16–17 days. The two fundamental breeding seasons are spring and fall when the day length is about 15–17 hours per day.

Turkish hamster, Mesocricetus brandti

Relationship to different hamsters

All hamsters are solitary creatures and are typically aggressive. Turkish hamsters are most intently associated with the Syrian or golden hamster. The Turkish hamster is taken into account to be the more aggressive of the 2, however, this could possibly be as a result of the opposite species has been domesticated.

Domestic pets

Turkish hamsters are saved as a pet by some. Hamsters are aggressive by nature and these hamsters are the latest pet species, but this species continues to be enhancing.

The domestication of the hamster was a reasonably latest improvement; in 1930, a family of Syrian hamsters was domesticated, and this was the first occasion of hamster domestication in history.

Since then, solely 5 of the 18 species of a hamster— Campbell’s dwarf hamster, the Djungarian hamster, the Roborovski hamster, the golden hamster, and the Chinese hamster—have been domesticated and are bought in pet retailers. Turkish hamsters are sometimes utilized in laboratory experiments.

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