Do Hamsters Store Food in their Cheeks?
Hamsters have a unique feature: pouch-like cheeks that can be filled with food and carried around. But do hamsters actually store food in their cheeks?
Hamsters Cheeks are Pouches
Hamsters have the unique ability to fill their cheeks with food and carry it away. The two pouches on either side of the mouth, known as “cheek pouches”, can be filled with food using a scooping motion. These pouches are also used to carry small objects such as nesting material.
Hamsters Use Their Cheeks to Store Food
Although the exact extent of food stored in their cheeks changes between species, hamsters do use their cheeks to store food. They usually store the food they eat at night, such as seeds, nuts, and grains, in their cheeks. These food stores are used in between feedings or when the hamster is out of the cage, such as during playtime.
Characteristics of Food Storage
Food storage in a hamster’s cheek pouch has certain characteristics.
- Capacity: Depending on the size of the hamster, their cheek pouches can hold up to 20% of their body weight.
- Time: Hamsters can store food for up to 24 hours in their cheeks.
- Digestion: Hamsters can digest the food in their cheeks without removing it.
Yes, hamsters do store food in their cheeks. It is a unique feature that they use to carry food or store extra food in between feedings. With their cheek pouches, they can carry up to 20% of their body weight and can digest the food stored in their cheeks without removing it.