Coloration of Dzungarian hamsters ranges from gray to pinkish buff dorsally and whitish on the underparts (Nowak, 1991). Some individuals have a dark dorsal stripe. The ears are dark blackish, edged and lined with white. During the winter months the fur turns partly white. As a result of having been bred and sold as domestic pets, these hamsters have given rise to a number of mutations in coat color. Three color mutations are commonly recognized: albino, argente, and opal; and two pattern mutations, mottled and platinum.
The Dzungarian hamster has a rounded robust body and short broad feet, covered with thick fur throughout. They also have dark eyes, long whiskers, sharp claws, and cheek pouches. Head and body length is 7-10.5cm while the tail length is 0.6-1.8cm. As in all rodents, one upper and one lower incisor are found on each side of the jaw. Canines and premolars are always absent, and there are no more than three lophodont cheek teeth on either side. (Macdonald 1984, Hill 1997)
Average mass: 23.4 g.
Average basal metabolic rate: 0.313 W.
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