Hamsters are the common, and thus sadly, the most abused rodent in the pet trade. They are small burrowing rodents with short tails and thick fur.
There are a variety of hamster species available as pets the largest and most common being the Syrian Hamster. Syrian hamsters are also known as the Golden Hamster, Black bear or Angora/Teddy bear hamster. They must be kept alone.
Dwarf hamsters should always be obtained from an ethical breeder, as those available from pet shops are extremely like to be hybrids of Campbells/Winter Whites - something that carries various health risks and threatens the genetic integrity of both breeds.
The Roborovski hamster, also known as the Desert hamster is the smallest breed of hamster with adults reaching 1-2 inches in length.
Chinese hamsters are not related to dwarf hamsters and are members of a group called ratlike hamsters. Chinese hamsters have a long body, and a larger tail than most hamsters. The males have very prominent testicles, which unfortunately can lead to them being harder to home.