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Comparing the learning abilities of hamsters and miceFeatured science projectScience project video

Abstract

This experiment was performed to find out if hamsters and mice are able to learn and recall what is learnt. The experiment also compares the speed of learning of hamsters and mice.

Hypothesis

Both hamsters and mice are able to learn and remember but mice are able to learn more quickly than hamsters.

Scientific Terms

Mammals, rodent, omnivorous

Background

Rodents

Both hamsters and mice belong to the rodent family. They are both mammals. The hamster has thicker fur and a very short tail whereas mice have very thin fur and long tails.

Both the hamster and the rat have very poor eyesight. However they both do have a very keen sense of smell and hearing. They depend on these two senses to evade predators and to scour for food.

Hamsters are well-loved pets. They can be domesticated and kept as pets. They are easy and fairly cheap to maintain. Being lively animals, they love to play in cages and are entertaining to watch. Hamsters are omnivorous, eating small insects and also fruits or nuts.

Mice are also kept as pets at home but more often than not, they are known as pests, entering our homes and scavenging for food. Mice are also known to spread certain forms of dangerous diseases. Initially mice were found in farms and were a problem because they ate and damaged crops. From the onset of urbanization, they have adapted to living in sewage and draining systems across cities.

Their high rate of reproduction has made mice and hamsters suitable laboratory subjects.

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Complexity level:
6
Project cost ($):
30
Time required:
2 day to prepare, 10 hour for observation
Material availability:
Easily found
Safety concerns:

Wear gloves when handling rodents to prevent getting bitten.