How hamsters stuff their cheeks (and lagniappe)

April 3, 2020 • 2:15 pm

I was going to do a somewhat complex post on consciousness today, but Duck Farming has been onerous and, as Matthew and I discovered on a Skype call today, we’re both having trouble concentrating during this period. Consciousness shall thus be postponed until tomorrow and instead we’ll have something not mindless but simple and biological.

This informative 4½-minute clip from BBC Earth features not only real-time X-rays of hamsters being bendy in their Habitrails, but also of them stuffing their famous cheek pouches, which in this species go all the way back to the hips! And they can push the stored food out of their pouches with their paws.

Readers with hamsters are welcome to share their experiences.

Lagniappe: This clip, which I found online, purports to be from the 2003 movie The Cat in the Hat, and the video was posted ten years ago. Prescient or what?

h/t: Rick

7 thoughts on “How hamsters stuff their cheeks (and lagniappe)

  1. I had a series of hamsters when I was a teenager. They loved to use tissue paper to feather their sleeping ‘nests’ and it was fun to watch them load up their pouches with the paper and then squeeze them out in their sleeping area.

  2. Hamsters were always just about the cutest of the little critter I had. Even made some elaborate acrylic cage extensions they could dig in, like a large ant farm. But the truth is, they are never satisfied, and always will try and dig their way out of anything. And they never give up, so I did.

    Alternately, I had a one-eyed mouse, rescued from my university, who loved his solitary existence in his large multi-level habitat with lots of enrichment. Never tried to turn him into a pet.

  3. “Here it is a form of play, a way to enjoy wild behavior, that in captivity has no real purpose.”

    Much like commenting on websites, perhaps!

  4. I’m having trouble concentrating, too. I suspect it may be widespread. I’d like to see a survey.

    I don’t like to admit it, though, because it seems wimpy. Did our ancestors have trouble concentrating during the Spanish flu epidemic? During World War II? If so, one never hear about it.

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