Animals

Hedgehog Facts

Hedgehog facts for kids are educational!
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Hedgehogs are a species of spiky mammal from the family of Erinaceidaem, there are 17 species of hedgehog found in Asia, Australia, Europe, and New Zealand. All species of hedgehogs have a similar body form, they are covered with spiky spines made out of keratin. They are mostly five-toed, with claws that are sharper on the end. They are easily found in gardens hiding under bushes, and tree bark. They help to clear the pests from the garden. Hedgehogs are nocturnal in nature, meaning that they are active during nighttime.

Hedgehogs have become one of the most popular pets among pet enthusiasts and are one of the easiest pets to keep as they are low maintenance and will become social and friendly if they grow with and around your kids!

If you liked these true facts about hedgehogs, then you'll surely like these facts about the Arctic wolf and bandicoots too!

Hedgehog

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Insects, bird eggs, frogs, snails

What do they eat?

Omnivore

Average litter size?

3-4

How much do they weigh?

12 oz - 75 oz (300-2000 g)

How long are they?

7- 12 in (17.7-30.4 g)

How tall are they?

N/A

What do they look like?

Cone-shaped face with spines on the back of the body

Skin Type

Thick fur with spines made up of keratin

What are their main threats?

Owls, foxes, ferrets, mongeese, wolves

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them

Agricultural land, gardens, mixed woodland, grassland, man-made heathlands

Locations

Asia, Africa, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand

Kingdom

Animalia

Class

Mammalia

Scientific Name

Erinaceinae

Family

Erinaceidae

Genus

Erinaceus, Atelerix, Hemiechinus, Mesechinus, Paraechinus (depending on the subspecies)

Hedgehog Interesting Facts

What type of animal is Hedgehog?

Hedgehog is a species of small mammals, they have cone-shaped faces with short legs and spines made out of keratin. They are a favorite species in European gardens, helping them in vindicating pest problems. They are brownish in color with more than 5000 spines on their back.

What class of animal does Hedgehog belong to?

Hedgehogs belong to the mammal class of animals. Having mammary glands to feed their young ones, the presence of the three ear bones, fur or hair, and the neocortex (region of the brain) are what qualifies hedgehogs as mammals.

How many Hedgehogs are there in the world?

At present, there is a decline in the total population of hedgehogs, currently, there are less than a million individuals in the world. It is impossible to get an accurate number of hedgehogs as there are 17 different species and they are kept as pets in many parts of the world which makes it difficult to get the numbers.

Where does Hedgehog live?

Hedgehogs can be easily found in agricultural land, mixed woodlands, grasslands, and man-made heathland. In some places due to lack of predators they have taken over the ecosystem of other species.

What is Hedgehog's habitat?

Hedgehogs are nocturnal in nature and they spend most of their day time sleeping under the grasses, bushes, rocks, and the dens which they dig in the ground. Some species of hedgehogs hibernate during the winter season depending on the temperature and species.

Who does Hedgehog live with?

Hedgehogs do not socialize with other species of hedgehogs in their natural habitat, they tend to live have solitary lives.

How long does Hedgehog live?

The lifespan of a hedgehog is relatively longer compared to their sizes. The large species of hedgehog can live from a range of up to seven years in the wild but with proper care and adequate care they can live up to 16 years in captivity. The lifespan of smaller hedgehogs is between two and four years in the wild and can live up to seven years in captivity with proper diet and care.

How do they reproduce?

During mating season the males will circle around a female to attract them. and once the females are ready the male mounts on top of the female and copulate in similar ways as other mammals. As there are 17 species of hedgehogs, the average gestation period is four to seven weeks (depending on the species), with a litter size of between three and six.

What is their conservation status?

The species of hedgehogs are protected under the Wildlife & Countryside Act in many places. The decline of the population is majorly due to the loss of their habitats. As per IUCN Red List, all the species are enlisted as Least Concern. Though there is a decline in the total population it is not because of the presence of predators, but because of the high number of road kills.

Hedgehog Fun Facts

What does Hedgehog look like?

Hedgehogs facts are informative!

Hedgehog is a cone-faced species of small mammals, they have short legs and they are covered with more than 5000 spines made of keratin. Hedgehogs are found in many different colors ranging from deep brown, white, pale brown, and black. Their long snout which is wet most of the time helps them with a great sense of smell.

They tend to live solitary their entire life, they are seen together only during mating season.

How cute are they?

Hedgehogs are cute depending on their species; few species are not as attractive as others. Hedgehogs may seem to be unfriendly but they are easy-going creatures. African pygmy hedgehogs are considered the cutest among the species and the least cutest is the Indian long-eared hedgehog.

How do they communicate?

Hedgehogs are extremely vocal and they communicate using various combinations of squeals, grunts, and snuffles. There have been many reports of hedgehogs disturbing the areas with loud noises during nighttime.

How big is a Hedgehog?

There are 17 different species of hedgehogs and their sizes range from 4-12 inches. Compared to a similar-looking animal known as porcupine, hedgehog's spines are smaller and half their size.

How fast can Hedgehog run?

Hedgehogs are nocturnal species, they tend to spend their days resting and hunting for food during the night, they can run up to 15 mph.

How much does Hedgehog weigh?

The smallest species of hedgehog weighs 3.8-5.4 oz (100-155 g), whereas the biggest among the species can weigh up to 52.9-70.5 oz (1500-2000 g).

What are the male Hedgehog and female Hedgehog called?

A male hedgehog is known as a boar, they are slightly larger than the females, which are known as sows.

What would you call a baby Hedgehog?

Baby hedgehogs are known as hoglets. Females will provide food for eight weeks and then leave to look after themselves.

Hoglets are born blind, they are covered with a protective membrane that provides protection to the mother during birth. Their spines are visible after the membrane is cleaned. Only a few are able to survive hibernation during the winter season.

What do they eat?

Hedgehog's food includes insects, fruits, bird eggs, beetles, caterpillars, millipedes, slugs, and earthworms.

Are they dangerous?

Hedgehogs are friendly in nature they are not aggressive creatures until provoked. A hedgehog can be a biter because of hormones or terrestrial disputes. A European hedgehog will run away or curl up into a barbed ball if shocked, and its quilt can puncture skins that itch and cause rashes.

To care for your hedgehog you need to provide them an ample amount of food, with proper housing and care.

Would they make a good pet?

Hedgehogs are friendly in nature and their adorable and small size has made them popular among pet enthusiasts. Most people prefer the African pygmy hedgehogs to be kept as pets due to their small size and beautiful white and grey color, and they can be found in pet stores all around the world, ranging from $100-300 USD.

In some parts of the United States such as Georgia, Pennsylvania, California, and Hawaii it is illegal to own a hedgehog.

Did you know...

The scientific name of woodland hedgehogs is Erinaceus and the scientific name of European hedgehogs is Erinaceus europaeus.

The name 'hedgehog' comes from the animal's foraging nature.

In history, a hedgehog was also known as an urchin, hence the name sea-urchin, furze-pig, and hedgepigs.

Hedgehogs can be bad pets sometimes as these animals can carry highly contagious diseases.

A hedgehog will never hibernate outside during the winter season, they build their nest in a shed or underground. They hibernate from November to April and change their nest once after they hibernate.

A hoglet's spines fall out and are replaced with adult spines as they grow, the spines can fall out if the hedgehog is not well or they are under stress.

Hedgehogs perform an unusual ritual called self-anointing. When a hedgehog finds a new scent, it will lick or bite the source, and then with the help of its tongue, it spreads the scent all over its spines. This process helps them in camouflaging.

Hedgehogs have natural immunity against snake venom.

The most common disease found in hedgehogs is cancer.

Only a young hedgehog will bite while feeding them. Their teeth are strong enough to puncture your skin.

Females and males have several mates in a single mating season.

Hedgehogs are lactose intolerant, so they should be kept away from milk.

Hedgehogs use their hearing and smell senses to hunt as they have bad eyesight but they can see quite clearly during nights, they are born blind.

A group of hedgehogs is known as an array, which is extremely rare as they tend to live in isolation.

Do hedgehogs swim in the wild?

Yes, hedgehogs are natural swimmers, they love to swim in tepid warm water, they run up to 2 km during the night searching for food.

Where does the Hedgehog originate from?

Hedgehogs are native to Asia, Africa, Europe.  These animals were introduced in New Zealand and with no predators in the wildlife, they became pests destroying the habitat of other species. There are no living native hedgehogs from Australia and the United States.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including the cuscus and the American pika.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our squirrel coloring pages.

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