Hedgehogs

26 species

Hedgehogs are small spiny mammals found throughout parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa, and in New Zealand by introduction. These animals are easily recognized by their spines, which are hollow hairs made stiff with keratin. Their spines are not poisonous or barbed and, unlike the quills of a porcupine, do not easily detach from their bodies. However, the immature hedgehog's spines normally fall out as they are replaced with adult spines. This is called "quilling". All species of hedgehogs can roll into a tight ball in self-defense, causing all of the spines to point outwards. When the animal is rolled into a ball, the quills on the back protect its tucked face, feet, and belly, which are not quilled. Hedgehogs are primarily nocturnal, though some species can also be active during the day. They can hibernate, though not all do, depending on temperature, species, and abundance of food. Hedgehogs are fairly vocal and communicate through a combination of grunts, snuffles, and/or squeals, depending on the species. Hedgehogs have a relatively long lifespan for their size. Larger species of hedgehogs live 4-7 years in the wild and some have been recorded up to 16 years! Smaller species live 2-4 years (4-7 in captivity), compared to a mouse at 2 years and a large rat at 3–5 years.
Hedgehogs are small spiny mammals found throughout parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa, and in New Zealand by introduction. These animals are easily recognized by their spines, which are hollow hairs made stiff with keratin. Their spines are not poisonous or barbed and, unlike the quills of a porcupine, do not easily detach from their bodies. However, the immature hedgehog's spines normally fall out as they are replaced with adult spines. This is called "quilling". All species of hedgehogs can roll into a tight ball in self-defense, causing all of the spines to point outwards. When the animal is rolled into a ball, the quills on the back protect its tucked face, feet, and belly, which are not quilled. Hedgehogs are primarily nocturnal, though some species can also be active during the day. They can hibernate, though not all do, depending on temperature, species, and abundance of food. Hedgehogs are fairly vocal and communicate through a combination of grunts, snuffles, and/or squeals, depending on the species. Hedgehogs have a relatively long lifespan for their size. Larger species of hedgehogs live 4-7 years in the wild and some have been recorded up to 16 years! Smaller species live 2-4 years (4-7 in captivity), compared to a mouse at 2 years and a large rat at 3–5 years.