Cricetus cricetus - Feldhamster - 1120 Wien CC BY-SA 4.0 SgH Vienna (

European hamster


European hamsters reach a snout-vent length of 20 to 34 cm, with a 4 to 6 cm long, almost hairless tail. The weight of adult animals varies between 200 and 650 g. Males are usually larger and heavier than females. The hamster is considered the most colourful European fur-bearing animal. The fur colouration is variable: the most common form is a yellow-brown upperpart and a dark, almost black underpart. There are several white patches on the flanks, on the cheek, in front of and behind the forelegs. The striking counter-colouration (back lighter than belly) is plausibly explained by the fact that a hamster, when it can no longer flee, rears up to defend itself: the black belly imitates the mouth of a larger predator with the four white paws as "fangs". The region around the snout and around the eyes is reddish brown in colour, the feet and the tip of the nose are again white. There are also melanistic (almost entirely black) and strikingly light-coloured field hamsters. The undercoat is uniformly grey. All hamster species have well-developed, expandable cheek pouches, which they sometimes use to carry up to five kg of grain into their burrow, even though they only need two kg of food to survive the winter. The feet are broad and have well-developed claws.


They are typical ground dwellers and are found almost exclusively in loess and clay soil. 

The text is a translation of an excerpt from Wikipedia ( On wikipedia the text is available under a „Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike“ licence. Status: 20 August 2021