The Wild (Incestuous) Story Of The 'Adam and Eve' Of Hamsters
Today, the Syrian hamster is the most popular domesticated hamster ...
And the third most popular breed of social influencer.
... but before 1930, they were rare enough that a Middle Eastern zoologist named Israel Aharoni had made it his singular mission to capture one. As a passionate namer of things, Aharoni really just wanted to rename it -- the Syrian hamster's Arabic name at the time translated roughly to "Mr. Saddlebags," so you can see Aharoni's point.
But his colleagues were also interested in the animal's potential as lab rats. He came upon a mother with 10 babies, and that's where things got weird. Specifically, infanticidey, jailbreaky, cannibalic, and incesty.
First, knowing only that some huge creatures had captured her and her babies and intended to do Hamster Jesus knows what with them, the mother hamster went The Mist on one of her babies in transport. She surely would have continued her murderous rampage had she not been caught coldly decapitating the first one, so she was euthanized, but once in the lab, her nine remaining children grew so hardy under the scientists' care that five of them broke out, never to be seen again. One of the four remaining hamsters then ate one of his sisters, leaving them with one male and two females.
They could only hope that that guy would be up for humping one of his sisters instead of eating her, so they put two of them together, and a monkey's paw curled somewhere as the siblings mated out of control. In fact, they were so sexually prolific that every single Syrian hamster in the world today is descended from those sickos, making them the incestuous Adam and Eve of hamsters. Feel free to use that fact to demean your own rodent, who is hopefully named Mr. Saddlebags.
Top image: Bonnie Kittle/Unsplash