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The hamster is a small, burrowing rodent that lives in the wild in parts of Asia and Europe. Many people keep hamsters as household pets. Hamsters are nocturnal (most active at night). Hamsters have a life span of about 2 to 2.5 years. After they leave their mother, hamsters are solitary animals.

Anatomy: Hamsters range in size from 2 to 11 inches (5 to 28 cm) long. Most have a short tail, but some have longer tails. They weigh up to 32 ounces (900 grams). The coat color ranges from white to brown. Like all rodents, the hamster's front top teeth continue to grow throughout its life. It must gnaw on hard things to keep wearing the teeth down.

Diet: Hamsters eat grains, seeds, grasses, fruit, roots, stems, and small animals like worms and insects. They can store food in their large cheek pouches.

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