Young hedgehogs mature in four to seven weeks after birth. The west European hedgehog (scientific name Erinaceus europaeus) is one of about 17 hedgehog species worldwide and unmistakable as Britain’s only spiny mammal. Affiliate Disclaimer AnimalCorner.co.uk is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Hedgehogs are born blind and gestation lasts up to 42 days. Hedgehog spines resemble those of a porcupine but they are not easily lost and are only shed and replaced when young hedgehogs reach adulthood or when a hedgehog is unwell or stressed. They have poor vision despite their large eyes but they have a keen sense of hearing and smell, and they use their sharper senses of smell and hearing to help them locate prey. Hedgehog: Species, Behavior, Habitat, and Diet Scientific Name: Erinaceidae. Description. When threatened, hedgehogs crouch and hiss but they are better known for their defensive tactics than their might. Hedgehogs are generally solitary animals that spend time with one another only during mating season and when rearing young. Hedgehogs feed on a variety of invertebrates such as insects, snails, and slugs as well as some small vertebrates including reptiles, frogs and birds' eggs. Their belly, legs, face, and ears are free of spines. In fact, the average weight of a hedgehog pet is less than 19 ounces. Hedgehogs can also run quickly for short periods of time. They make nests underground in burrow chambers that they line with plant material. Hydnum repandum, commonly known as the sweet tooth, wood hedgehog or hedgehog mushroom, is a basidiomycete fungus of the family Hydnaceae. Hedgehog species include: Hedgehogs are listed as of Least Concern, as there are large populations of hedgehogs around the world. These survive primarily on berries, but they don’t cope well with being placed in captivity, so they aren’t a good option for a hedgehog pet. Hedgehogs are for the most part nocturnal mammals. Hedgehogs are found in many locations across Europe, Asia, and Africa. They also feed on plant materials such as grass, roots, and berries. One factor is the way the hedgehog looks. Hedgehog cactus, (genus Echinocereus), genus of about 60 species of cacti (family Cactaceae), native from central Mexico to the western United States. Conservation attempts are underway around the world; as a BBC article says: “A world without hedgehogs would be an uglier place.". On the upside, a wild hedgehog is more likely to help keep garden pests out of your way. These creatures can easily destroy a garden. Some species of hedgehogs hibernate for several months during the winter. Ringworm infection caused by Trichophyton mentagrophytes is the most commonly contracted zoonosis of wildlife rehabilitators in the United Kingdom. Of these 14, only two have been almost totally domesticated. Their highly specialised coat contains around 6,000 creamy-brown spines and hangs around their body in a loose-ish ‘skirt’, concealing greyish fur on their underside, surprisingly long legs and a short tail. This has been central to the campaign Hedgehog Street – which we run in partnership with People’s Trust for Endangered Species. Another species of hedgehog pet that is usually found easily is the long-eared hedgehog. Habitat and Distribution. History of the hedgehog The history of hedgehogs is long and colourful. There is another species that is close to this species. Wild species of hedgehogs are very destructive and very invasive. Expand. It is the Indian long-eared hedgehog. The domesticated hedgehog pet is a lot tamer than the wild hedgehog; however, they are also more likely to fall ill or to need medical care. The Latin word for hedgehogs is Erinaceus and our own British hedgehog is scientifically known as Erinaceus europaeus; it is the same species that occurs throughout most of the continent of Europe. They are occasionally active during the day but more often shelter themselves in shrubs, tall vegetation or rock crevices during daylight hours. First described by Carl Linnaeus in 1753, it is the type species of the genus Hydnum. ThoughtCo uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. There are a total of 17 species of hedgehogs. Many species of hedgehogs, however, are on the decline as a result of habitat loss, pesticide use, and poaching for use in traditional medicines. It isn’t recommended for anyone, save experts, to try to keep a wild hedgehog pet. While many species of pet hedgehog are fairly large, the two hedgehog pet species that are found the most often as pets are small. The hedgehog sleeps for a large portion of the daytime either under cover of bush, grass, rock or in a hole in the ground. It will give impetus to those of us campaigning to protect the habitats that the hedgehog needs to thrive, and increase the awareness of the importance of connecting those habitats. If you are trying to find a really cute hedgehog pet that will stay small, the African pygmy hedgehog is an ideal option. Young hedgehogs are born with spines that are shed and replaced with larger stronger spines when they mature. These hedgehogs as pets are just adorable due in part to the long ear. During hibernation, the body temperature and heart rate of the hedgehogs decline. In Britain it is found almost everywhere except some of the Scottish Islands, but tends to be scarce or absent from wet areas and pine forests. All rights reserved. Hedgehogs construct burrows or use those dug by other mammals such as rabbits and foxes. Although they belong to the group of mammals formerly known as the insectivores, hedgehogs eat a varied diet that includes more than just insects. If you are looking for a pet you can cuddle up with; you definitely want to choose a domesticated hedgehog pet instead of trying to tame a wild hedgehog. Mammals Amphibians Birds Habitat Profiles Reptiles Wildlife Conservation Insects Marine Life Forestry Dinosaurs Evolution View More. Habitat and Distribution. By using ThoughtCo, you accept our, Fascinating Arctic Fox Facts (Vulpes lagopus), www.bbc.com/earth/story/20150818-living-with-hedgehogs, www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/h/hedgehog/, M.S., Applied Ecology, Indiana University Bloomington, B.S., Biology and Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Each year, hedgehogs can raise as many as three litters of young with as many as 11 babies. Share Flipboard Email Print Valenta­n Rodraguez / Getty Images. One wild species of the hedgehog that is hardly ever marketed as a pet is the Afghan hedgehog. For example, the European hedgehog is significantly larger than the North African hedgehog, which is also known as the African pygmy hedgehog, so choose a hedgehog pet based on how much room you have for it. © 2016 Hedgehog Cage. They come by their unusual name as a result of their foraging behavior: They root through hedges to find worms, insects, and other food while making pig-like grunting sounds. https://hedgehogcage.net/ is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. The Best Fish Tank Decorations – 2020 Guide, The Best Aquarium Gravel Cleaners – 2020 Guide, The Best Aquarium Sand Reviews – 2020 Guide, How To Clean A Rabbit & Cage – Complete Owners Guide. Two perfect examples of this are the four-toed hedgehog and the white-bellied hedgehog. Hedgehogs are small mammals with rotund bodies and distinct spines made of keratin. Featured in tales by Beatrix Potter, the hedgehog retains its popularity in the Sonic the Hedgehog video game. Laura Klappenbach, M.S., is a science writer specializing in ecology, biology, and wildlife. Hedgehogs (Erinaceidae) are a group of insectivores that are native to parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa. The common name hedgehog refers to the spiny fruit, which is edible in many species. One wild species of the hedgehog that is hardly ever marketed as a pet is the Afghan hedgehog. Table of Contents . These survive primarily on berries, but they don’t cope well with being placed in captivity, so they aren’t a good option for a hedgehog pet. There are 17 species in five genera of hedgehogs worldwide: Erinaceus, Paraechinus, Mesechinus, Atelerix and Hemiechinus. If provoked, hedgehogs usually roll up by contracting the muscles that run along their back and in doing so raise their spines and curl their body and enclosing themselves in a protective ball of spines. The forest hedgehog is primarily an insectivore, but like the Afghan hedgehog, the forest hedgehog doesn’t adjust well to life in captivity. Considerations of a Wild Versus a Pet Hedgehog, Living World Deluxe Habitat, Large, 61858A1. The European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus) is one of the most common species seen in wildlife rehabilitation in western Europe.Hedgehogs are potential carriers of zoonotic disease. Hedgehogs are divided into five subgroups that include Eurasian hedgehogs (Erinaceus), African hedgehogs (Atelerix and Paraechinus), desert hedgehogs (Hemiechinus), and steppe hedgehogs (Mesechinus). Hedgehogs occupy a variety of habitats including forests, grasslands, scrublands, hedges, suburban gardens, and agricultural areas. Size is another common factor that differentiates the species of hedgehogs. There are at least 14 species of hedgehogs in the world. Sure, a hedgehog pet or a wild hedgehog can damage a garden quickly if it has a chance, but they aren’t at all aggressive to humans. This species of pet hedgehog stays incredibly small. They are not present in Australia, North America, Central America or South America, though have been introduced to New Zealand as an exotic species. Smaller species like the Long-eared Hedgehog are preyed on by foxes, wolves and mongooses. All hedgehogs are primarily nocturnal, although different species can be more or less likely to come out in the daytime. The spines are cream-colored and have brown and black bands on them. They don’t take up too much space, and they don’t eat as much as some of the larger species. The forest hedgehog is primarily an insectivore, but like the Afghan hedgehog, the forest hedgehog doesn’t adjust well to life in captivity. Hedgehogs have a white or tan face and short limbs with long curved claws. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. Animals & Nature. A common factor in both domesticated and wild hedgehogs is that they are peaceful animals. Hedgehogs have a round body and dense spines on their back. Hedgehogs are small, spiny mammals that first evolved about 15 million years ago. Hedgehog: Species, Behavior, Habitat, and Diet. Hedgehogs are well-loved animals and are featured in traditional children's stories and fairy tales. Like any other animal, the hedgehog pet species are determined by a number of factors.