Mouse vs. Hamster
Difference Between Mouse And Hamster
Mouse, a name applied to many varieties of small rodents, particularly those in the family Muridae. Containing 1,326 species, grouped into 281 genera, the family comprises about 30% of all currently recognized mammalian species. Most larger family members are called rats. Muridae belongs to the order Rodentia, in the class Mammalia.
Muridae includes all of the long-tailed mice that are native to the Western Hemisphere, species that were formerly classified in a separate family, Cricetidae. In North America the best-known members of this reclassified group are the numerous kinds of deer and white-footed mouse (Peromyscus). Containing many forest-dwelling rodents, Peromyscus species are among the most common types of small mammals. Other species previously classified within Cricetidae include the American harvest mice (Reithrodontomys), which are found chiefly in fields and marshes, and the grasshopper mice (Onychomys). Members of the latter genus exist in plains and deserts and are relatively short tailed. Former members of Cricetidae are also represented by many South American rodents as well as by a few Eurasian and African forms commonly known as hamsters, most of which are short tailed.
Hamsters are rodents belonging to the family Muridae. This family also includes rats and mice. There are about 20 species of hamsters. They live in dry, often rocky areas of Europe, the Middle East, and Central and Northern Asia.
Characteristics of Hamsters
Hamsters have compact bodies and short legs. Their fur is thick, and their ears and eyes are large. Most hamsters have coats in shades of gray and brown. But the common, or black-bellied, hamster can be black with lighter patches. The smallest species is the Roborovski hamster. It weighs about half an ounce (14 grams) and is about 2 inches (5 centimeters) long. The common hamster is the largest species. It can measure from about 8 to 13 inches (20 to 33 centimeters) long and weigh up to 2 pounds (1 kilogram).
Lives of Hamsters
Hamsters are burrowing animals that generally spend the daytime underground. They come out at night to gather food, which consists mostly of plants. Some species will eat insects, frogs, young birds, and other small animals. Hamsters have cheek pouches in which they carry food back to their burrow for storage. And like all rodents, hamsters have large front teeth called incisors. They use these to gnaw.