Chromosomes And Cell Division

Each hamster species has a set number of chromosomes and these chromosomes exist in pairs. The number of chromosomes for each species is:

Species

Number of Chromosomes

Syrian Hamster

44

Dwarf Campbells Russian Hamster

28

Dwarf Winter White Russian Hamster

28

Chinese Hamster

22

Roborovski Hamster

34

Each hamster species has a set number of chromosomes that exist in pairs.

During reproduction one of each pair of chromosomes is passed to the egg or the sperm (the germ cells) during a process called reduction division. During reproduction the egg and sperm then unite to form a new cell containing the full number of chromosomes.

During reduction division the chromosomes are duplicated to produce an identical sister, for example chromosome A is duplicated to produce a sister a and chromosome B is duplicated to produce a sister b and during division A and its duplicated sister a will come together and then move to opposite ends. In the same way chromosome B and b will join together and then move to opposite ends. The cell will then divide to produce a germ cell with half the number of full chromosomes. The germ cells will contain A or its sister a and B or its sister b and so the possible variations of A, a, B and b that can form the germ cell are either Ab, AB, ab or aB.

During reproduction the germ cells (the egg and sperm) unite to form a new cell containing the full number of chromosomes. Once the germ cells from each parent have combined to form the new cell with the full number of chromosomes progressive division then takes place to form new cells. The chromosomes are duplicated so that the cell contains double the full number of chromosomes. The chromosomes then line up down the middle of the cell and the duplicate (sister) chromosomes pair up and then move to opposite ends. The cell is then divided in the middle to form two new cells with each containing the full number of identical chromosomes. In this way 1 cell becomes 2, 2 become 4, etc and the formation of the baby hamster takes place.