Are Hedgehogs Nocturnal? Here's Why They Are Active At Night! | Kidadl


Are Hedgehogs Nocturnal? Here's Why They Are Active At Night!

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Is a hedgehog active at night?

Have you ever seen a hedgehog out and about in the day? Or perhaps you are wondering if sunlight might harm hedgehogs?

Hedgehogs are found all over the world in the wild, including in Asia, Europe, Africa, and New Zealand. Hedgehogs are small animals that belong to the genus of mammals called Erinaceinae. These cute creatures have a body with spikes just like their friends: porcupines. A hedgehog's spines found on its back are made from keratin just like human nails!

If you are looking for more interesting facts check out our article full of hedgehog facts and find out if ducks have teeth here on Kidadl!

Why are hedgehogs nocturnal?

Hedgehogs are nocturnal creatures, which means that they are active during the night and sleep during daylight hours. A hedgehog's senses are adapted for low levels of light, so they are able to smell and hear better in low-light habitats. Hedgehogs are also very timid in their behavior, so nighttime gives them some peace and quiet away from other animal and human activities. The hedgehog's nocturnal behavior is mainly dictated by the low levels of light rather than the fact that it is nighttime, but it is also easier for hedgehogs to find food in the wild in the dark due to the fact that there is less animal activity going on at the same time. This allows these small animals to cover longer distances searching for food. Hedgehogs, both at home and in the wild, feed approximately every other hour during the dark nighttime to maintain healthy amounts of fat. This helps them to sustain themselves during hibernation or sleeping hours.

Hedgehogs are known to be one of the few mammals to hibernate during the cold months of November and December. It is therefore very important to feed your pet hedgehogs properly during the months of September to October. Just like other hibernating animals, hedgehogs don't sleep whilst hibernating but instead drop their body temperatures to help store body fat during the cold winter months.

What types of hedgehogs are nocturnal?

There are 17 types of hedgehogs present in the world. All these types are known to be nocturnal in nature. One of the most popular hedgehog species that is often kept as a pet is the African pygmy hedgehog (also known as the Atelerix albiventris). This hedgehog species is nocturnal and energetic.

You can take your pet hedgehog out during the day for a short time period but it is important to be careful about their safety. You might sometimes find wild hedgehogs outside during the daytime. You should observe the hedgehog's behavior and if it appears busy it is probably a breeding hedgehog building a nest for its children. However, it is important to remember that, because hedgehogs are nocturnal, if you find one out and about during the day it might mean that the hedgehog is in trouble. If you suspect that a hedgehog is in trouble, you should contact your local wildlife center or vet for advice.

Egyptian long-eared hedgehogs are smaller than the more common European hedgehog. This breed is also known to hibernate during both summer and winter for a short time period. These are not common pets as these hedgehogs require high levels of care. These hedgehogs tend to sleep during all daylight hours but they may come out to drink water or eat in between their naps. It is common for these pets to sleep up to 15 hours a day, so hedgehog owners should not worry if their hedgehog is not active during daylight hours.

The European hedgehog is known to use dark woodlands as its habitat. This suits its nocturnal habit of hunting insects at night.

Hedgehog walking.

Are hedgehogs loud at night?

Your hedgehog might make some loud noises during the night when eating or moving about in its cage. You might even see your hedgehog sleeping during the night, but don't worry as this is perfectly normal. Hedgehogs tend to sleep for around 18 hours a day, so your cute pet is just taking its usual slumber.

Even though hedgehogs tend to make loud noises during the nighttime while eating and playing around in their cage, they need a lot of quiet during daylight hours to help aid their sleeping. Loud noises during the hedgehog's rest periods can cause them to become seriously ill, so make sure to provide your pet with a stress-free and quiet environment.

What sound does a hedgehog make at night?

Hedgehogs make all kinds of noises and if you are a proud pet hedgehog parent, you might even know some of their natural sounds. The most common sound that a hedgehog makes is the noise it makes when eating or finding food. This sounds like loud grunting and sniffling, a bit like how some humans sound when they catch a cold! This sounds means that your little pet is perfectly happy so you don't have to worry about it.

During the breeding season, you might hear a female hedgehog making a sound to send her suitor away. It is perfectly natural for her to make this sound and it does not mean that she is in any danger or a threatening situation. Male wild hedgehogs often make a barking noise and duck their head to challenge another male to mate with a specific female during the mating season.

Your hedgehog might also make huffing sounds at you to scare you away. They do this as sometimes they are not able to distinguish your smell and they may feel a little threatened.

When your hedgehog is just a little baby, it will make calls similar to those of baby birds. This is your cue to feed your pet some food in its nest. The more concerning sounds that you need to look out for are those that sound like a human cough as this may mean that either some food is stuck in your pet's throat causing it to choke, or it may have a more serious underlying condition. When in distress your pet hedgehog may also make sounds like a crying baby. If you hear this, be sure to get the hedgehog checked out at your nearest vet.

A hedgehog can also make some really cute sounds, including sneezing like a human! They also quack similarly to ducks when they are hungry or confused and, just like some humans, these animals can also snore the night away!

Your pet might also sleep talk during its slumber. These are just random sounds that the hedgehog makes depending on its dream. They can range from happy sounds to distress calls but you generally have nothing to worry about when you hear these sounds as your little pet is fast asleep and is simply dreaming.

The final interesting sound that a pet hedgehog might make is a farting sound. This sounds similar to human farts but smells way worse. Hedgehog owners should be careful when feeding their hedgehogs as one wrong food item can create quite a stink!

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our article about whether hedgehogs are nocturnal then why not find out what the strongest force on earth is with our fun physics force facts for kids, or which bird is the smartest bird?

Kidadl Team
Written By
Kidadl Team

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