The hamster's complex burrow has a large living room or dwelling chamber that is one or two yards below the ground's surface.

The entranceway to the living room is a tunnel that is almost vertical, but which takes a turn before it reaches the living room.

The exit tunnel is sloping.

A storage room, which is larger than the living room, is connected to the living room by a gallery.

Hamster, photo by Peter MaasThe hamster carries surplus food, including grains, roots and other vegetable matter, in its cheek pouches in the summer and stores them for use in the winter.

The innermost recesses of the burrow are used only in the winter.

In October, the hamster moves to these, after sealing he exit and the entrance with soil.

The hamster sleeps but does not hibernate.

In February or March, it begins to feed on the food that it has stored, keeping its burrow sealed.