Corn-Eating Hamster Cannibals: Unveiling the Mystery

Corn eating Hamster Cannibals; why are these cute animals eating their young

Corn eating Hamster Cannibals

Editor: Draco Copper | Tactical Investor

Updated May 29, 2023

Corn-eating Hamster Cannibals: What gives

A Monotonous Diet Leads to Stress

French researchers have discovered that a diet high in corn can cause European hamsters to exhibit cannibalistic behaviour. The European hamster is critically endangered, and researchers were trying to determine the cause of declining populations.


The team, led by Mathilde Tissier, investigated the hamster’s diet. Previously, the rodent ate various grains, roots and insects. But industrial corn farming had become dominant in areas with declining hamster numbers. This meant the hamsters’ diet consisted almost entirely of corn.

The researchers fed hamsters a corn-only diet and observed unusual behaviour within weeks. The hamsters became aggressive, with females killing and eating their young. Some hamsters engaged in cannibalism of weaker adults.

The study suggests that a monotonous diet high in corn lacks the nutrients hamsters need, causing stress that manifests as abnormal and dangerous behaviour. A varied diet with more insects and vegetable matter may be necessary to support healthy hamster populations.

Agricultural Practices Threaten Wildlife

The findings indicate that agricultural practices shaping an animal’s environment and food supply can threaten even common species like the hamster. When industrial farming prioritizes a single crop like corn, it can disrupt local ecosystems and the animals that depend on them. More sustainable agricultural practices are needed to preserve biodiversity.

Experiments were carried out to determine what drove these Corn eating Hamster Cannibals.

The hamsters on an exclusive corn diet exhibited disturbing and abnormal behaviours, indicating severe health issues.

A Monotonous Diet Led to Mental Decline and Violence

The female hamsters showed signs of mental deterioration and hormonal imbalance. They ran in circles frantically and “climbed and pounded their feeders” when researchers entered the room, displaying anxiety symptoms. The females also stored their litters and then killed and consumed their pups, lacking normal maternal instincts.

The hamsters’ tongues were swollen and dark, and their blood was so thick it was difficult to draw samples. Their fur appeared dull and patchy, with signs of dermatitis.

Nutritional Deficiencies Impacted Neurological Health

The corn-only diet lacked essential vitamins and nutrients that the hamsters needed. Supplementing their diet with vitamin B3 reversed some of their abnormal behaviours, indicating nutritional deficiencies as a cause.

When animals only have access to a single crop, essential nutrients may be lacking, impacting their neurological and behavioural health. A balanced diet with a variety of plants and nutrients is crucial.

The hamster study highlights how a monotonous diet can wreak havoc on health and behaviours. Monoculture farming threatens biodiversity by limiting the availability of diverse, nutritious animal foods.

The importance of moderation and a balanced, nutrient-rich diet applies not just to hamsters but possibly to humans as well. A lack of dietary diversity can impact mental and physical health, demonstrating the value of eating various nutritious whole foods.  Full Story

originally published on Jan 18, 2018, and updated repeatedly over the years, with latest update being done on May 2023

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