Winterwhite Dwarf Hamsters The winterwhite dwarf hamster is a small, yet active, highly social and trustfully creature Worldwide, they make a popular pet Because they are easily tamed, and have a curious and friendly behaviour However, in Norway, they are still quite rare With only a few registrered animals So what make the winterwhites so special? In this film, we are going to share some general information about the fluffy little animal Some hard facts Latin name: phodopus sungorus Size:10-12 cm Weight: 30-50 grams Life span:1- 2 1/2 year circadian rythm: crepuscular Able to reproduce:from 4 – 7 weeks Pregnancy: Lasts from 18 – 21 days Litter size: commonly between 4 – 8 pups. The winterwhites originates from Dzungaria Which is a small area in the Mongolian steppes Here, they live togeter in large undergound colonies These are caves digged out by the hamsters, and consists of several rooms Hamsters are incredibly active animals And are able to travel several kilometres to explore or collect food Should they find a treat a long way from the colony They’ll simply put it in their cheekpouches And are then able to carry the treat with them Tame winterwhites lead quite different lives from their wild counterparts But has kept a lot of their natural behaviour A huge difference in wild and tame winterwhites lives are the size of their habitats. In wild, winterwhites can outrun 12 kilometres in 24 hours Whilst in captivity, the standard recommendations for cages are at least 60 x 40 cm or 70 x 50 cm Therefore, it is important to keep tame individuals busy with toys, playtime and exciting cages. Usually, it is recommended to keep winterwhites separately in cages Because the cages tends to be too small for them to exercise their natural social behaviour The exception to this are breeding pairs, or females with litters Let’s move on to winterwhite colouration! They only come in two natural colours and can only have one single variation of marking. The first colour, called “agouti” or “wild colour”, is as the name suggest the most common colour in wild hamsters. It is a dominant colour, with the genetic code: D The colour is somewhat grey and brown, with three arches on each of their sides They also have a black stripe down their backs. Sapphire is the second winterwhite colour It is recessive, with the genetic code: d In other words, both parents would have to have saphire in geno- og phenotype for it to be in the litters phenotype colours Sapphire looks similar to agouti, but have a lighter grey or blueish colour The stripes on their backs are grey Contrary to what you might think, Pearl is a marking, not a colouration. Pearl is dominant, with the genetic code of Pe Pearl somewhat wraps around the underlying colour Making it more or less possible to view the hamsters actual colour On this little guy, one can clearly spot the grey stripe on his back, giving his colour away as sapphire pearl Hang on! Didn’t you call them winterWHITES? Sure, winterwhites are able to change colours slighly during the wintertime How much they changes vary greatly however. The cause of the variations in colourchanging is unknown But variables such as temperature and light exposure are thought of as possible explanations One can hardly talk about winterwhites without mentioning the other dwarf hamsterspecies called campbell dwarf hamster Which in wild, lives only 500 – 1000 kilometres away from Dzungaria Campbells and winterwhites looks so similar, they actually assumed they belonged to the same species until very recently This species they called “Siberian Hamster” And today, this is the name commonly referred to as hybrid between campbells and winterwhites Hybrids or sibirian dwarf hamster are commonly sold in pet stores around the country Breeding on hybrids between winterwhites and campbells have become so common, and the hamsters all look so similar to campbells or winterwhites that you today need pedigree and papers from a hamster union with a database to confirm your hamster is a pure campbell or winterwhite So what’s so special about the winterwhite hamster, compared to the other hamster species? The first thing to come to mind if how incredibly tame they tend to get They’re typically on the lookout for attention, and loves to get out of the cage to explore, or to run around on their owner. Many hamsterowners also report that their winterwhite enjoys petting and cuddling and even falls asleep in their owners hands giving the winterwhite the nickname “pancake hamster” You need to be aware that large individual variations occurs, and that some hamsters may prefer running around and explore and others prefer to be left on their own in their cages The latter example are however very uncommon, as long as the hamster has been bred carefully, and has been handled right and respectfully Winter whites are fantastic small pets, which can become a dear part of the family or a good little companion In families where the kids are under 16, the hamster is always the grown-ups responsibility If the children are under 12 year of age, the parents should observe and help whenever the kids are handling the hamster Because the hamsters swiftly can run or jump out of small children hands. Hamsters are crepuscular animals, Meaning they are awake mainly at dawn and dusk, and sleeps the rest of the day. Therefore, hamsters may not be the best pet for small children, or to grown-ups that prefer going to bed early Though, to most hamsterowners, this is usually not an issue. And my personal experience is that the better I read the hamsters’ body language, and the better I know my hamster The more they tend to seek out of their hide-out if they here me in the same room. So that’s all for now! Please, click subscribe for more hamsterrelated videos! See you guys! Thanks for watching!