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One of four genera of hamsters; Cricetus cricetus is used extensively as a research animal.
small brown rodent with black underbelly. Nocturnal, burrower, hoarder, brief gestation period (15-16 days) and possesses a pair of capacious cheek pouches. Popular as a research animal and as a pet. Includes Cricetus cricetus (common hamster), C. griseus (Chinese hamster) and Mesocricetus auratus (golden or Syrian hamster).