The hamskey is one of the rarest species on planet earth. A hamskey is a hybrid of two species; it’s half monkey and half hamster. There have only been a few dozen spotting of a hamskey out in their natural habitat, and most of them have been in the Amazon rainforest and a few in the Panama jungle. A hamskey can sit on the average man’s palm and usually weighs about a pound and a half.
The first recorded sighting of a hamskey was in 1987 by two scientists, Emily Grason and Stephan Salvator, who were exploring the Amazon jungle. They spotted the creature one day, as it leaped from one branch to another. At first they thought the creature was a tiny monkey but at they took a closer look they realized the animal had the tail, arms and legs of a monkey, but the body and face was different. Setting up a small cage on the ground with food inside they were able to attract the creature in and safely capture it so they could then take it back to camp and take a closer look as well as run some tests. After taking a closer look at the creature’s DNA they were able to determine that it was in fact part monkey but it was also part rodent. Further tests and analyzes would later reveal that the creature was half hamster too, and so the creature was named a hamskey after the two different species that came together to make one new one.
The hamskey’s diet consists of fruit, native vegetation, depending on the area it is living in, and nuts. Based on the latest research the hamskey can live up to 20 years, but the average hamskey lives somewhere between fourteen and eighteen years. At this moment there are two hamskies being held in captivity at the San Francisco Zoo. There is one female named Jane, and who is thought to be about seven years old and a male, Ron who is about nine years old. Jane at the moment is pregnant with two little hamskies though the genders are not known, Jane’s due date is any day now and this will be the first birthing of a hamskey seen by man.
From the data that has been collected by scientists hanskies are a very playful species. They like to stay together and at night they sleep either underground in a borough or up in the trees holding each other. They tend to divide their time pretty evenly between being up in the trees swinging from trees to trees and down on the ground exploring. Like their ancestor, the hamster, the hamskey also likes to carry its food in its cheeks, until it find a safe place to store for a later time when its hungry. However, something they do like monkeys is that a hamskey enjoys getting cleaned by other, rather than doing it themselves.
These creatures are such fun to watch, so if ever you are in the San Francisco area be sure to mark the San Francisco Zoo as one of your stops along the way. This is one stop you won’t want to miss!