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Quick Facts

Genus: Erinaceus europaeus

Location: Europe, Asia, Africa and New Zealand

The Scoop

The Scoop

Hedgehogs are small nocturnal mammals, best known for their coats of stiff, sharp spines. If attacked, they curl into a prickly ball to deter predators, including badgers, foxes, household pets and other male hedgehogs.

Hedgehogs are often kept as household pets because they prey on common pests including insects, worms, snails and snakes. They are also known to eat vegetation, fruits and greens. Because their vision is weak, hedgehogs rely on their senses of smell and hearing while they hunt. During the day, hedgehogs sleep in their curled up position, and at night, they use their nighttime vision to search for food.

Hedgehogs hibernate in cold climates and sleep through hot weather in a process called aestivation. They are notoriously solitary animals that only come together for mating. Baby hedgehogs stay with their mothers for four to seven weeks before going out on their own, and are born in litters of up to eleven.

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