The hamster is a burrowing animal of the rat kind. It differs from a rat chiefly in having two cheek pouches. On that account the pocket gopher, while not closely related, has been called the American hamster. The common hamster inhabits fertile fields of Europe and Asia. It is a stout little animal, about ten inches long, with a hairy tail. The prevailing color is black. It burrows into the ground, making galleries in which it stores food. A pair of hamsters has been known to hoard 170 pounds of grain. It is very prolific. As many as sixteen young are brought forth at a time.