The Scientific classification of the hamster species

The scientific classification is an interesting way to look at the world. It is a grouping system used to understand one living organism's relationship to another. It's surprising to learn that hamsters can be grouped with whales or eagles!

A hamster belongs in the Rodentia group for rodents. But how did it get grouped there and what sub-groups are there within? Let's start looking at the widest group...

What non-rodent animals do hamsters share characteristics with?

All Living Organisms Are Classified

scientific classification: rodentia

Life. All living organisms start in the Life group.

Kingdom. Based on cellular construction, hamsters are grouped into the Animalia Kingdom. This includes all animals but excludes plants, fungi, and single cell organisms. That means that tigers and whales share the same cellular construction as hamsters!

Phylum. Based on body structure, hamsters belong to the Chordata Phylum which includes animals with a spinal cord. Land, sea, and air, hamsters share the same characteristic as dogs, fishes, and birds!

Class. In the Class rank, hamsters are grouped in Mammalia, animals which have mammary glands. This group tends to be warm blooded, air breathing, and furry. Elephants and mooses share the same characteristics as hamsters.

Order. In the Rodentia Order, rodents are defined as having teeth/incisors that continually grow throughout their lives. This is probably the most defining feature a hamster posesses.

A hamster will always need to chew on something to file down their teeth. This also forces the hamster to use their teeth as a valuable tool and weapon.

Other animals in this order include rats, porcupines, beavers, and guinea pigs who are also very skilled with their teeth.

About 40% of animals are considered rodents. They can be found around the world, from the most extreme terrains to metropolitan cities.

What sub-groups are in the Rodentia Group?

Family. All types of hamsters are part of the Cricetidae Family which includes small, furry rodents who burrows underground. In these burrows, hamsters would store or "hoard" their food in case of rainy days. This is another defining feature of hamsters. The Cricetinae Sub-family is a group for hamsters only.

Genus. Even amongst hamsters, there are some differences. The Genus rank divides different types of hamsters into 7 groups: Mesocricetus, Phodopus, Cricetus, Cricetulus, Allocricetulus, Cansumys, and Tscherskia.

Species. Each hamster has a unique name. You can learn the hamsters' scientific names here.

Top Questions:

  1. Creative name ideas?
  2. How long do they live?
  3. How much do they cost?
  4. How to convince my parents to let me get a pet hamster?
  5. Can you recommend a hamster breeder?