- European (common) hamster Cricetus cricetus
- 40 centimetre(s)
- Not Applicable ()
The largest species of hamster is the European or common hamster Cricetus cricetus, which has a head-and-body length of up to 34 cm, plus a tail length of up to 6 cm, yielding a total length of up to 40 cm. Widely distributed in the wild state across Eurasia but critically endangered in certain European countries, it can live up to eight years in captivity.
Several different species of hamster are kept as pets, but the most popular ones are the much smaller and more docile golden or Syrian hamster Mesocricetus aureus and Campbell's dwarf hamster Phodopus campbelli. Both of these have also been bred in a range of colour varieties and other "fancy" versions. Moreover, the latter species can also produce viable hybrids when mated with the closely related Djungarian hamster P. sungorus.