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African Pygmy Hedgehog

About...

Class: Mammalian

Order: Insectivore

Family: Erinaceidae

Genus: Atelerix albivventris

Diet: Insects, slugs, snails, worms, small vertebrate and fruit.

Life Span: 3 – 4 years in the wild, up to 10 years in captivity.

Habitat: Open grasslands

Breeding: Up to 6 – 8 litters per year, each litter may have 1 – 10 pups.

Nature Notes: They tuck in their arms, legs and head into its abdomen, turning into a ball of spines. They will also hiss like a snake if threatened.  The spines on the hedgehog are not true spines or quills.  They are modified hairs.  Unlike the soft hairs on the abdomen the hairs on their back are thick, brittle and very sharp.  This helps to protect the nocturnal mammal while sleeping under the grass, in leaf piles, rocky crevices or holes in the ground.  Hedgehogs are able to climb trees, but unable to get down, so they curl into a ball and roll off of the branch!  Their spines cushion their fall!




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