Did You Know Hamsters literally love self storage?
Did you know that most hamsters inhabit semi-desert areas where they live in burrows consisting of multiple tunnels and chambers – the most important of which store food and bedding for the animals to sleep in. Hamsters are nocturnal, so they sleep during the hot days and move around in the evening when it’s cooler. As such, conserving energy is vital.
Most species of hamsters have expandable cheek pouches in which they can carry food and bedding back to their burrow to store. In fact, the word ‘hamster’ comes from the German word ‘hamstern’ which means ‘to hoard’.
A hoard of nuts buried by a rodent 17 million years ago is the oldest food larder so far discovered in the fossil record. A team from the University of Bonn in Germany found a burrow containing 1,800 fossilised nuts when digging at an open-cast mine near Garzweiler. Back then, hamsters were predominately found in the wild, and though they’re mainly now kept as pets, this proves that behaviour hasn’t changed much since then.