Recently, I came across this adorable video from the BBC. It shows a hamster stuffing food in its cheek pouches. But not only that, there is even an x-ray to show how big those pouches really are. It reminded me of how amazing hamsters really are.
Hamsters are such lovely creatures. They are tiny, but very strong for their size. Plus they are rather smart, most of the time. And they are just adorable. With the velvety fur, soft noses and loose-fitting skin that makes them look like tiny beanbags. You just can’t help your heart melting at the sight of them, can you?
Another fascinating thing about these little pets is the way they keep their home clean and neat. One of my former hamsters spent half an hour every morning cleaning out his nest, arranging his stocks and then adjusting the nesting material just as he liked it. It was the most cute and amazing thing to see. He was completely absorbed in making it just the way he wanted it to be, up till the last piece of woodchips.
And of course, hamsters like to stock up on food. Once, years ago, I thought it would be fun for my hamster to find a sudden gift every now and then. So I hid a handful of sunflower seeds scattered around his cage. He didn’t like it that much. As soon as he realised there were pieces of food everywhere, he went looking for them all like a madman, only to drop them in his feeding tray afterwards. So much for trying something new. But well, the point here is that they like to build up huge stocks of food, transporting the food in their cheek pouches like shown in the video.
That is probably the most amazing thing of all, temporarily storing food in their cheek pouches. Especially the amounts of food they can store there. A whole, unshelled peanut? No problem, that fits easily. There can even be some extra food pushed in at the sides. And because the tissue in their cheeks does not constantly produce mucus, the food will not get wet and will not start to spoil. Sometimes nature can be amazing, don’t you think?
The video is a preview of a BBC series. You can watch the whole show live if you have access to the BBC. Or if you live in the UK you can watch the rerun at your computer here. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b050j44d