ETYM German hamster.
Rodent of the family Cricetidae with a thickset body, short tail, and cheek pouches to carry food. Several genera are found across Asia and in SE Europe. Hamsters are often kept as pets.
Species include the Eurasian black-bellied or common hamster Cricetus cricetus, about 25 cm/10 in long, which can be a crop pest and stores up to 90 kg/200 lb of seeds in its burrow. The golden hamster Mesocricetus auratus lives in W Asia and SE Europe. All golden hamsters now kept as pets originated from one female and 12 young captured in Syria 1930.
Short-tailed Old World burrowing rodent with large cheek pouches.