Small animal species known as hedgehogs can be found in these regions as well as Asia, Europe, New Zealand, and Africa. They can adapt to different environments, from arid wasteland to a humid rain forest.
Their distinctive quill-covered bodies and long, narrow faces make hedgies instantly recognised. The keratin in hedgehog quills is the same protein found in human hair and nails. Hedgie spines are not venomous and hence cannot be “launched” in self-defense.
Hedgehogs are nocturnal, meaning they are most active at night and sleep during the day (for up to 18 hours!). More than two kilometres away from their burrows, they have been seen foraging for food.
Hedgies, while living in the wild, are obligate foragers. They eat a wide variety of things, including carrion (dead animals), frogs, bird eggs, insects, snakes, and fruit. According to the African Wildlife Foundation, hedgies have ravenous appetites and can eat up to one-third of their body weight in a single feeding session (AWF).
Like honey badgers, mongooses, and opossums, hedgehogs have a specific protein in their blood that can help neutralise harmful snake venom, making hedgehogs immune to many venomous snakes. Hedgehogs are able to hunt upon snakes without fear of becoming a meal themselves thanks to a partial immunity to the poison they produce.
- 1 Subfamily of Hedgehogs
- 1.1 Small African Hedgehogs Known as Pygmy Hedgehogs (Four-Toed Hedgehog)
- 1.2 Hedgehogs in Europe (Common Hedgehog)
- 1.3 Hedgehog, North African
- 1.4 Hog-Tailed Jackal of the Southern African Continent
- 1.5 Hedgehogs in Somalia
- 1.6 Amur hippopotamus
- 1.7 Hedgehogs, Northern White-Breasted
- 1.8 Hedgehog with Long Ears
- 1.9 Long-Eared Indian Hedgehog
- 1.10 Hedgehog fFrom the Daurian Region
- 1.11 Hedgehog, or Hugh’s
- 1.12 Hedgehogs of the Gaoligong Forest
- 1.13 Camel-Tailed Hyena
- 1.14 The Hedgehog of Brandt
- 1.15 Hedgehog in India
- 2 Hedgehog with No Belly Hair
- 3 Procreation and Newborn Care of Hedgehogs
- 4 When Fully Grown, How Quickly do Hedgehogs Mature?
Subfamily of Hedgehogs
There are seventeen recognised species of hedgies, and they are dispersed all across the world. Those things are:
Small African Hedgehogs Known as Pygmy Hedgehogs (Four-Toed Hedgehog)
Most people who keep hedgehogs as pets are interested in African pygmy hedgehogs, which are native to Africa and may be found in places like Mozambique, Somalia, Senegal, and The Gambia. Grassy habitats or savannahs are the best places for these hedgies to be.
Because most other species of hedgehog have five toes on each foot, the four-toed kind got their name from the fact that they only have four on their hind feet. African pygmy hedgehogs have a greyish coat with dark grey or brown spines (quills) that are tipped with white.
Typically, African pygmy hedgies enjoy eating spiders, snails, grubs, as well as other insects and occasionally some foliage.
Hedgehogs in Europe (Common Hedgehog)
The European hedgehog is native to Europe and is the second most popular pet hedgehog species overall. These hedgies have adapted to city life despite their natural preference for grasslands and thick forests.
Hedgehogs are typically brown in colour and feed on a variety of foods, including slugs, earthworms, beetles, fruits, vegetables, cat food, caterpillars, and even dog food.
Hedgehog, North African
Algeria, Malta, Tunisia, Spain, Morocco, and Libya are the original homes of the North African hedgehog, also known as the Algerian hedgehog. Hedgies like these prefer forest habitats to grassy plains.
Its quills are white, its body is brown, its ears are large, and its head and legs are brown in an Algerian hedgehog. They are omnivores who feast on everything from worms to insects to small birds to mollusks to nuts to fruits.
Hog-Tailed Jackal of the Southern African Continent
Yes, you guessed it: South Africa is home to the Southern African hedgehog. Botswana, Angola, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and other places in South Africa are good places to spot these animals. In the grasslands where they are most at home, these hedgies dig burrows or hunker down in leaf heaps.
The Southern African hedgehog is easily recognisable by the white stripe of fur that runs over its shoulders, front legs, and forehead. Roots and leaves are among their favourite foods, as are grasshoppers, slugs, worms, small birds, berries, leaves, and mollusks.
Hedgehogs in Somalia
Hedgehogs native to Somalia, where they are found exclusively in open grasslands. Their quills are a dark tint, and they have a brown furry tail.
The range of the Amur hedgehog includes mainland China, Russia, and the Korean Peninsula. Hedgies like these can be found both in grassy regions and on the outskirts of forests.
They look a lot like their European counterparts and feast on mice, snails, frogs, earthworms, and centipedes.
Hedgehog with a white chest and white fur that lives in the south.
Hedgehogs with white bellies or chests are the Southern white-breasted kind, which are native to Southwest Asia. Instead of digging burrows, these hedgies construct grass and leaf nests, which they use as sleeping quarters.
Hedgehogs, Northern White-Breasted
The range of the Northern white-breasted hedgehog spans much of Northern Europe, from Poland and Austria to the southernmost Greek Islands. These hedgies are omnivores, devouring anything from scavenged greens to pet food.
Hedgehog with Long Ears
Long-eared hedgehogs are native to Central Asia and thrive in the region’s rather temperate climate. Their preferred dwelling is a tunnel beneath some plants.
To differentiate themselves from their relatives, these chubby fellows possess a singular trait. Attempt to speculate on what it could be. What sets them apart are their prodigious ears.
The long-eared hedgehog is not only one of the swiftest of the hedgehog species, but it also has shorter quills than its cousins.
Long-Eared Indian Hedgehog
North Indian and Pakistani regions are home to the Indian long-eared hedgehog. These little hedgies are able to withstand extremes of both summer heat and winter cold.
As its name suggests, the Indian long-eared hedgehog is often a dark hue with long ears. Water and insects are two of these hedgies’ favourite things in life.
Hedgehog fFrom the Daurian Region
Typical habitat for the Daurian hedgehog is rocky, grassy terrain in northern Mongolia and Russia. They like to eat chickens, mice, ants, and other insects.
Hedgehog, or Hugh’s
The Hugh’s hedgehog can be found in Manchuria and Central China, where it favours grassy areas over wooded areas. Hugh’s hedgehog is very different from other hedgehogs in that it is active during the day and hunts for insects, while most hedgehogs are nocturnal.
Hedgehogs of the Gaoligong Forest
The Gaoligong Forest Hedgehog is endemic to the Gaoligongshan Nature Reserve on the slopes of Mt. Gaoligong. Only recently discovered (in 2018), this hedgie is well-known for the striking colour patterns that run along its spine.
Some nations in the Middle East and parts of North Africa are home to Desert hedgehogs, one of the smallest species of hedgehog. The scorpion is a favourite food, but they will also eat frogs, snakes, bird eggs, and other insects if given the chance.
The Hedgehog of Brandt
Brandt’s hedgehog, so called after the guy who first spotted it, Johann Friedrich von Brandt, lives in arid regions of Central Asia and the Middle East.
Hedgehog in India
The Indian hedgehog is endemic to India and does best in dry, sandy deserts, however it may adapt to a variety of environments. In appearance, they are quite distinctive, with dark, speckled faces that are reminiscent of raccoons.
Hedgehog with No Belly Hair
The bare-bellied hedgehog is the last of our hedgehog species, and it may be found in southeastern India. Due to its rarity, a lot of information about bare-bellied hedgehogs is lacking.
Now that you’re familiar with the seventeen species of hedgehogs, it’s time to learn more about their reproduction, development, and ecology.
Procreation and Newborn Care of Hedgehogs
Hedgehogs are solitary creatures that only get together to mate. Males will engage in drawn-out courtship rituals that include rhythmic snorting, puffing, and circling in an effort to woo cooperative females.
Once the female hedgie becomes pregnant, she will give birth to anywhere from four to seven piglets. Hoglets are born weighing around a third of an ounce and looking like fat grub worms. Porcine infants survive on their mother’s milk for the first three to four weeks of life.
The hoglets’ eyes open, fur grows, and the first quills emerge between weeks 3 and 4. (the replacement of old quills with new ones). Hoglets wean off their mother’s milk at about this time.
Hedgehog mothers start evicting their young into the wild when they are between six and eight weeks old.
When Fully Grown, How Quickly do Hedgehogs Mature?
Piglets in the wild typically wean themselves from their mothers after six to eight weeks. Although species differences exist, most hedgehogs mature at around six months of age.
Hedgehog males can become fertile as early as eight weeks of life, whereas females don’t reach sexual maturity until after two years.