One of the cutest animals that have become mainstream pets over the past few years are hedgehogs. With their cute little snouts and circular body, people find them very adorable. Even just saying “hedgehog” can make you smile because of how cute the term is.
From the character of SEGA Games, Sonic the Hedgehog, this little prickly animal has made its way too many social media platforms, with photos and videos that would make you say, “aww!”
So, what are hedgehogs?
Most likely familiar with Sonic the Hedgehog, a real-life hedgehog isn’t blue (obviously) but has many different colors that vary from dark brown to almost light blonde. Although they can move fast, they are not as fast as Sonic. These animals are quite interesting. You may also have seen them in a cartoon in many children’s books. But there is more to this cute little critter than just being adorable. In this article, we’ll be giving you five interesting hedgehog facts that are not only fun to know but will make you more interested in them. So read on!
There are 17 hedgehog species all over the world.
Hedgehogs are mostly wild, and some are invasive in some countries such as Scotland and New Zealand. A particularly notable species is the African pygmy hedgehog. This species of hedgehogs is the one you can keep as a pet. The African pygmy hedgehog is also the smallest species of all the other species, with only seven to nine inches in length. Depending on the type of hedgehog, their weight ranges from 155 grams to 2.2 kilograms.
Hedgehogs can bite
Any creature with teeth is capable of biting. This includes even the cutest of animals, and yes, even the adorable little hedgehog can bite. Hedgehogs are monophyodont, which means they can only grow one set of teeth in their lifetime, so losing a tooth would mean that it can never grow back. If you plan to keep one as a pet, then oral hygiene should be taken seriously. You can keep your hedgehog’s teeth clean by using a cotton swab to wipe their little choppers once in a while. Although they don’t have sweets as their main diet, it’s always good to keep their teeth clean to make sure that they last.
They make sounds
One thing you might find surprising with hedgehogs is that they can make sounds. And we’re not just talking about squeaky noises; we’re talking a wide array of sounds! Hedgehogs communicate by making different noises, and each noise has a different meaning. When looking for food, they grunt and snuff like pigs. And to attract a partner during mating season, they chuffing sounds like a train. Chirping sounds are made by baby hedgehogs, screaming, or hissing sounds made by adults to display aggression.
They “anoint” themselves.
We’re not talking about anointment like in the Bible. We’re talking about their behaviour when they encounter a new environment. When a hedgehog is placed in somewhere unfamiliar to them, they will “anoint” their bodies to camouflage themselves. The same with unfamiliar environments, when they smell an unfamiliar scent, they will bite or lick the object until foam starts foaming in their mouths. Then they spread this foam all over their quills. However, scientists are not exactly sure as to why they do this, a theory would be that this masks their scent from new environments.
Hedgehogs share their lineage with shrews
Although hedgehogs look very similar to porcupines, they’re actually not related! The biggest difference between hedgehogs and porcupines are their sizes. Porcupines are much larger! Also hedgehogs’ quills are relatively harmless compared to that of porcupines. If you are pricked by a hedgehog’s quills, you won’t get poisoned or die all of a sudden. However, some hedgehog owners have reportedly said that they do experience a mild allergic reaction to the quills, but nothing serious or threatening. Also, although their size and other physical features may be similar to most rodents, they’re actually not rodents either. Hedgehogs are actually from the lineage of shrews. This is why they like to dig dirt and can eat almost anything!
And there you have it, five cool facts about the ever-so-adorable hedgehog! This little animal is definitely of the cutest critters out there, but there’s a lot more to them than being irresistibly adorable. These five facts are great as trivia for any gathering with your friends and family, or just anyone else who loves animals. These are fun and interesting to know about. Who can resist a hedgehog after all? It’s cool to know more about them, so ahead and share them, you’ll definitely break the ice and even make people go “aww!”