Siberian hamsters are able to control their urge to reproduce during the winter season. Research shows that these creatures have a genetic switch that triggers when to start producing offspring, reports Jyoti Madhusoodanan of Inside Science.
The correct term for this ability is called epigenetic control. However, is this type of hamsters, they rely on their melatonin levels to know what season it is, due to its relation to short and long days.
Dio3 is the specific gene that causes a hamster’s reproductive organs to increase and decrease in size during these periods. Scientists have also uncovered that this is a way the animals save energy during the winter.