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Hamster to Mongolia

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A couple of months ago I acquired a Roborovski hamster. I caved in, despite swearing that I will never keep rodents again. Those little dark, moist eyes, like jet beads, are the thing that makes rodents so hard to resist for me, add in the comical little noses in constant motion, tiny, human-like hands, and soft, delicate, semitransparent ears covered with velvety fuzz, like flower petals, and you've got a powerful combination indeed. The cuteness level is on par with kittens here! This time what really reeled me in was the Roborovski's incredibly small stature. At the adult size of about 3" they are the world's smallest hamster. And voila, I brought the little fuzzy home.

Over the time that followed, I've learned two things. One: my little Hamham REALLY likes her wheel! And two: humans (i.e. myself), are infinitely more trainable than hamsters. All my attempts to hand-tame the new critter seemed to amount to was holding a desperately squirming little fuzzball as she first attempted to wriggle free, then emptied her cheek pouches of all the seeds she'd been hoarding there, in an attempt to become slimmer, and therefore more effective at wriggling free, then finally starting to chirp in terror and desperation, while peeing and pooping herself the whole time. Had I been a child, I would probably have happily ignored every sign of her distress, and, at some point, finally persuaded her that I wasn't trying to have her for lunch. However, having developed a bleeding heart as an adult, I couldn't stand torturing the poor thing for long. Result: one tamed human has restricted hamster-handling to a minimum necessary to maintain a clean cage. The Hamham had her revenge, too, running in her wheel so much every night, that it was sliding all around the cage and banging on the sides (and conveniently keeping me awake) until I finally figured out how to mount it on the wall of the plexiglass cage (at least that stopped the banging, though she still runs in it all night every night, and I can still hear it). Nowadays, before turning in, I look in on her, watch her bounce in her beloved wheel, and tell her: "That's right, run-a-way-way little Hamham! Quick! Run back home to Mongolia!"

That got me wondering: Roborovski hamsters hail from the Goby Desert and the surrounding areas. If her little wheel wasn't securely fastened to the side of her cage, could she run all the way to her native Mongolia? There are, of course, a few oceans in the way, probably a couple of mountain ranges, but what the hell, even "as the crow flies" (or hamster runs, as it may be), could she make it to Mongolia if there was a straight line path to follow, minus the obstacles?

Nothing to do for it, but figure it out.
 
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SWEET!!! My little sis got a hamster for her b-day a few weeks ago, and I've wondered since then how far they can actually run! Well, now I know!
Thats epic it is really cool love it.
Azayles4 years ago
If you connect a N.O. reed switch to the contacts of the pedometer, you can glue a tiny NiB magnet to the wheel.
nikeman764 years ago
haha. how did u even think of that??
melissahu4 years ago
haha this is like a science fair project gone mad.  I can just see the crazy tri-fold foam board with your hypothesis, methods, conclusion, etc.  XD  love it!
unpro4 years ago
You didn't factor in that she will run slower as she grows older, and that some robo in youtube are claimed at 8 years old.

..and she can always hitch hike. Who won't give cute hammies a ride?
cantrell84 years ago
cool instructable. i would try it if i had a pedometer  that worked.
DaNerd116 years ago
yeah, so i had two rats and they were the cutest things ever, i loved holding them and playing with them, but i said they were..... it was REAALLLY hard to let them go because they become almost human (they are really smart and social). but, they were alot of work, how are hamsters? cuz i really want another rodent
canida DaNerd115 years ago
Hamsters aren't as smart as rats, but they smell much better! And they have cheekpouches, which is great fun.
you have a hamster?
I used to keep Siberian dwarf hamsters. I also worked in a lab doing behavior work with golden hamsters.
i might be getting a dwarf when hammy goes hammy is also a golden syrian
batcactus5 years ago
Now I'm looking for a way to power my computer with hamster power.
generator? hook up a big dc motor on the edge of the hamster wheel you should get a bit o=of power
You live in winchester? I live in Front Royal. I think Ill put a pedometer on my hamsters wheel and see how far it goes in a day.
Bartboy5 years ago
im confused, why do these hypothetical ibles get so much good?
awwwwwwwwwww
3366carlos6 years ago
great creativity.
DWRead6 years ago
We bought a safety wheel for the hamster. Saw a great video of a hamster who thinks outside the box, sorta. Follow the link and click on Daphne.
ReddWolf6 years ago
I have a hamster wheel that came with a "pedometer" built in, that shows you how many miles your hamster has run.

Here's a photo: Electronic Hamster Wheel
Oops, I meant feet not miles...
Clodester6 years ago
I good example of how math can be fun. Nicely done sir/madam
daenick6 years ago
So cute, i want it
jhahnlen6 years ago
Thank you for this wonderful Instructable. I'm working on one now for my dear Winter White Russian hamster, Tater-Tot. :)
Cadaoryn6 years ago
This is honestly one of the most creative instruct ables iv ever seen. Who would have thought to determine the distance a hamster runs in a lifetime?
*Applauds* Way to take interest in your pet, too bad she couldn't make it though.
unspecified6 years ago
Hey - sweet instructable. I was just wondering if the pedometer would work if glued (or somehow attached) to the center of the wheel on the side (makes no sense huh?) OK - if you were putting a bolt on an axle end, you would be where I am talking about) That way, the ped would turn upside down and back each rev - probably triggering it? Moot point I guess, but man - LOT of revolutions!!
canida6 years ago
I used to keep these guys as well! They're definitely the most adorable of rodents. The wheel-squeaking and thumping can be solved by judicious application of wheel grease, and a bit of cross-bracing to keep it away from the sides of the cage. Repeat as necessary.
animes256 years ago
my hamster is now 2 years old

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VwrnbMgsv10
Noodle936 years ago
Spelt 'Gobi' desert. This is pretty cool too.
Great instructable, it's so nice to see something like this, I love people who take their curiousity that bit further, by the way for a better way of spying you could mount a reed switch between the contacts meant for the arm ones, and glue a magnet to the wheel... Also that is a lovely hamster, making me miss: Robbie Davey Weetos Missy The insane second generation, weetos created about fifty babies and lived a very long time, quite a few years James even Ali G (guinea pig) No more of them now, only flump and lucy the rabbit and cat...
figment6 years ago
Wow! While not the most traditional, I LOVE this Instructable! I love the story intro. I know there is another -able floating around about using your hammy wheel to create electricity. So, hammy won't make it to the motherland... can he charge a battery? Remember, it's not animal labor, it's just... well, maybe it is. Good job! Cheers!
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