The Dzungarian hamster is not only a rodent belonging to the species of upholstered hamsters that live in the wild, but also a popular pet. The cute and friendly animals, which can be easily recognized by their fluffy fur coat with a characteristic dark stripe on the back and inconspicuous tail, are considered the smallest among rodents. The people affectionately call them "dzungariki".
The Dzungarian hamster is compact in size. The length of its body is 10 cm.The animals weigh no more than 35-65 g.
They have pointed muzzles, rounded cheeks, small ears, and a barely visible tail.
The Dzungarian hamster has a light gray color. As a rule, the sides of the animals are darker than the main tone. Most domestic hamsters have a brown coat. By the arrival of winter, the fur coat becomes lighter in several tones, acquiring a silvery shade.
The natural habitat of the Dzungarian hamster is Kazakhstan, the northeastern regions of China, Mongolia, Western Siberia, southern Transbaikalia, it is also found in the Altai mountains.
The habitats of hamsters include undeveloped territories, where they build burrows with numerous passages. In young males, burrows are not very large and deep. But the dwellings of adult males reach a depth of 1 meter.
The Dzungarian hamster is nocturnal, during the day it settles in its burrow and sleeps. Most of the time he is busy preparing food supplies, which he drags in cheek pouches. Each hamster exists alone.
Rodents do not fall into hibernation, but they begin to prepare for winter in advance. When the air temperature drops below +16 C, his coat becomes lighter, and he himself noticeably gains weight. During cold weather, along with body temperature, their physical activity also decreases. The state of numbness or, as it is called, torpor, makes it possible to survive the cold weather and lack of nutrition.