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Chinese striped hamster facts for kids

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Chinese striped hamster
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Cricetidae
Genus: Cricetulus
Binomial name
Cricetulus barabensis

The Chinese striped hamster (Cricetulus barabensis), also known as the striped dwarf hamster, is a species of hamster. It is distributed across northern Asia, from southern Siberia through Mongolia and northeastern China to northern North Korea. ORIGIN The Chinese Hamster originates in North-Eastern China. They were first domesticated around 1919, and were used originally as a laboratory animal. In the latter half of last century interest increased in the Chinese Hamster as a pet and show animal. It is, however, still not as common as other hamster species in pet shops.

DESCRIPTION The Chinese Hamster looks very like a mouse without the long tail. They are long and slender, with a short prehensile tail, large dark eyes, and tulip shaped ears. It is part of a group of 6 species classified as “rat-like” hamsters. An adult Chinese Hamster is about 4 inches (10-12cm) long and weighs up to about 45-50g.


There are only two colours that are regularly seen in Chinese Hamsters, the Normal and the Dominant Spot. A third colour, Black-eyed White, occurs randomly and very rarely within litters with two Dominant Spot parents.

The Normal is the wild coloration and is a rich mahogany brown with black ticking on the upper two thirds of the body. From under the cheekbone in a straight line from the cheek to the tail, and under the stomach and legs the Normal is white with a grey undercoat. The Normal has a black stripe running from the forehead along the spine to the tail.

The Dominant Spot is a very attractive animal. The base colour is white with patches of the Normal colour scattered (ideally in an even pattern in a show animal) across the upper part of the body. There is often a concentration of brown colour along the spine. The Dominant Spot also has the black stripe from the forehead down the spine to the tail.

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