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Mouse-like Hamsters
Temporal range: Late Miocene - Recent
Calomyscus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Superfamily: Muroidea
Family: Calomyscidae
Vorontsov & Potapova, 1979
Genus: Calomyscus
Thomas, 1905
Calo03
Calo13
Mouse-like hamster using its tail for balance while standing on a branch (a feat difficult for hamsters).

Mouse-like hamsters are a group of small rodents found in Syria, Azerbaijan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. They are found in rocky and slightly high areas in desert regions.

The mouse-like hamsters are not real hamsters, although they look like hamsters. They were once thought to be hamsters based on the shape of their teeth, but they do not have the cheek pouches, and short tail of the true hamsters. All animals in this genus were part of the same species before, Calomyscus bailwardi, but they are now separate species because they have big differences in chromosome number, skull length and weight, and other differences.

In Europe, species of Calomyscus can be kept as a pet. They are called Calomyscus bailwardi mystax or Calomyscus bailwardi. Only special people sell them, not pet shops, so they are usually only people who really like mice will buy them.

Mouse-like hamsters live the longest of all the mouse species. They have been recorded as living 9 years, 3 months and 18 days in captivity. They regularly live over 4 years in captivity. The species which lives the second longest in the muroids lives 7 years, 8 months, which is the Canyon Mouse, Peromyscus crinitus.

Species

  • Calomyscus bailwardi - Zagros Mountains mouse-like hamster from Iran
  • Calomyscus baluchi - Pakistan mouse-like hamster from Pakistan and Afghanistan
  • Calomyscus elburzensis Goodman's mouse-like hamster from northeastern Iran and southern Turkmenistan
    • Subspecies Calomyscus elburzensis zykovi Zykov's mouse-like hamster from southeastern Turkmenistan
  • Calomyscus grandis - Noble mouse-like hamster from near Teheran
  • Calomyscus hotsoni Hotson's mouse-like hamster from southern Pakistan
  • Calomyscus mystax Great Balkhan mouse-like hamster from Turkmenistan
  • Calomyscus tsolovi Syrian mouse-like hamster from Syria
  • Calomyscus urartensis Urar mouse-like hamster from Azerbaijan and northwestern Iran

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