Here are all the facts about hedgehogs you need!


What are the most common hedgehog varieties?


The most common domesticated hedgehog varieties include “Atelerix albiventris,” the White-Bellied or Four-Toed hedgie, and “Atelerix algirus” the North African or African Pygmy. Other less common but still seen varieties includes Hemiechinus auritus, the Long-Eared Hedgie and Hemiechinus collaris, the Indian Long-Eared Hedgie.


What do hedgehogs look like?


The most unique characteristic of a hedgehog is his or her spines, or quills as they are called. Quills are a natural defense against predators that evolved over time from hair, if you can believe it. Now when a hedgehog becomes frightened he or she will roll into a ball with all quills pointing outwards. In addition to having quills, hedgehogs also have soft underbellies, relatively small eyes, short limbs, a pointy nose and a fairly small size (adults will range in weight from one to four pounds.)


Are hedgehogs related to porcupines?


No, hedgehogs are actually small insect eating mammals (porcupines are rodents) who are members of the order Erinaceomorpha (subfamily name is Erinaceinae and includes other animals like Short-tailed Gymnure and Moonrats.) These mammals used to be members of a now defunct group called “Insectivora” – a group for any small mammal that ate invertebrates.


Are hedgehogs still found in the wild?


Yes, hedgehogs can be found in Great Britain, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and New Zealand (although hedgies are not native to this area but rather were brought in for pest control.) The hedgehog is actually quite a versatile creature as he or she can survive in a variety of habitats ranging from mountainous woods to dry deserts.


What is natural hedgehog behavior?


Hedgehogs are naturally both shy and inquisitive. You will find most hedgehogs love exploring one’s home looking for interesting scents. In the wild, hedgehogs would typically sleep during the day and forage at night – a sleeping pattern that most still adhere to. Also, unlike many other creatures – hedgehogs like to live alone! A solitary hedgehog is a happy hedgehog in many cases.


Like many creatures, hedgehogs have evolved the ability to hibernate when season changes indicate that food may soon become scarce. This behavior still exists among domesticated hedgehogs – however – in this case hibernation can be quite dangerous as one’s little spikey friend will go to sleep and be unable to wake up. For this reason hedgehogs must be kept in climate controlled cages ranging from 73 to 76 degrees Fahrenheit.


What do hedgehogs eat?


Wild hedgehogs would dine primarily on insects, worms, and anything else they could forage – like bird’s eggs, other small creatures, and wild vegetation. Most people feed their pet hedgehogs as similar a diet as possible comprised mainly of insects, high quality commercial cat food, lean cooked proteins, fruits and vegetables.

Susana Lenser has been an avid animal lover all her life. Today, Susana enjoys everything hedgehog! For more great information on hedgehogs facts visit Happy Hedgehog Secrets!