Your pet hamster is the product of incest

Most pet hamsters in the UK and North America come from a stock of Syrian hamsters bred by biologist Israel Aharoni for scientific research. It turns out, though, that Aharoni's hamster supply was saved by hamster siblings mating with one another.

Over at the Nib, cartoonist Andy Warner outlines the history of Golden Hamsters, the most popular species of pet hamster, in comic form. Even aside from the moment of rodent incest, it's fascinating that all those pet hamsters came from a single, particularly prolific, recent source—and that they were originally bred for research, not as pets.

The Hamster: Brought To You By Incest [The Nib via Rachel Dukes]