Fun Hedgehog Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Nov 14, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Deeti Gupta
info_i
Hedgehog facts for kids are educational!

Hedgehogs are a species of spiky mammal from the family of Erinaceidae. There are 17 species of hedgehog found in Asia, Australia, Europe, and New Zealand. All species of hedgehogs have a similar body form, covered with spiky keratin spines. They are mostly five-toed, with claws that are sharper on the end.

They are found in gardens. hiding under bushes and tree barks. They help clear pests from the garden. Hedgehogs are nocturnal.

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 Interesting Facts

What type of animal is Hedgehog?

Hedgehog is a species of small mammals that 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 5,000 spines on their back.

What class of animal does Hedgehog belong to?

Hedgehogs belong to the Mammalia 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 more difficult to get the numbers. The People's Trust for Endangered Species estimates there to be 522,000 hedgehogs in the world.

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 about 18 hours 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 solitary lives, except for breeding.

How long does Hedgehog live?

The lifespan of a hedgehog is relatively longer compared to other animals of their size, such as mice. The large species of hedgehog can live from a range of four to seven years in the wild, but with proper and adequate care, they can live up to 16 years in captivity.

The lifespan of smaller hedgehogs is between two to four years in the wild and they 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. 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 between three and four for larger species of hedgehogs, and five to six for smaller ones.

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!

Hedgehogs are a cone-faced species of small mammals, that have short legs and are covered with more than 5,000 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 lives, and are seen together only during mating season. Males do not help bring up the newborns.

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 5-12 in (12.7-35.6 cm). Compared to a similar-looking animal known as a porcupine, hedgehogs' spines are smaller and half their size.

How fast can Hedgehog run?

Hedgehogs are nocturnal species, they tend to spend their days resting and hunt for food during the night. They can run up to 4.5 mph (7.2 kph).

How much does Hedgehog weigh?

The smallest species of hedgehog weighs 0.5-1.5 lb (0.2-0.7 kg), whereas the biggest among the species can weigh up to 5 lb (2.3 kg).

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. They begin to look for food at four weeks and are weaned at 6-13 weeks, based on species.

Hoglets are born blind and are covered with a protective membrane. 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. This can 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 some 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 the night. 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 1.2 mi (2 km) during the night searching for food.

Where does the Hedgehog originate from?

Hedgehogs are native to Asia, Africa, and 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 Hedgehog coloring pages.

We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedgehog

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/facts/hedgehog

https://animals.sandiegozoo.org/animals/hedgehog

https://a-z-animals.com/animals/hedgehog/

https://ptes.org/get-informed/facts-figures/hedgehog/

See All

Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

Read full bio >
Fact-checked by Deeti Gupta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

Deeti Gupta picture

Deeti GuptaBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature

A detail-oriented fact-checker with a research-oriented approach. Devika has a passion for creative writing, she has been published on multiple digital publishing platforms and editorials before joining the Kidadl team. Currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from St.Xavier's College, Deeti has won several accolades and writing competitions throughout her academic career.

Read full bio >