15 Fascinating Facts About Hedgehog

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With their tiny legs, perpetually surprised expressions, and, of course, prickly coats, they’re the embodiment of adorableness. But hedgehogs are more than just cute faces – they’re fascinating little critters with surprising quirks and hidden talents. So, let’s check out 15 fun and fascinating facts about them that will leave you smiling and wanting to learn more about them.

Not Exactly Hibernating Animals


Hedgehogs are famous for their winter slumber, but here’s the twist—they’re not true hibernators! These prickly pals enter a state called torpor when the weather gets cold. Their body temperature drops, their heart rate slows, and they become less active. But unlike true hibernators, they can wake up occasionally to munch on a tasty snack.

They Can Snack on Venomous Treats

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Hedgehogs are resistant to some snakes and certain venomous insects, which means they can happily munch on these critters without a care in the world. But here’s the better part—scientists believe hedgehogs’ venom resistance might extend beyond surviving a nasty bite. Some research suggests hedgehogs can incorporate toxins from their prey into their spines, adding an extra element of defense against predators.

A Sixth Sense for Snoshing


Forget fancy forks and knives – these spiky pals have a built-in utensil for their nightly bug hunts. Their snouts are super sensitive and covered in tiny whiskers that act as touch receptors. These whiskers help them locate hidden insects and other tasty morsels as they sniff.

They’re Not Big on Sharing Their Space

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Hedgehogs are solitary animals, which means they prefer to live alone. They’ll establish their territory and mark it with scent to keep other hedgehogs out. But here’s the shocker –they can form bonds with humans! If you leave out a cozy house and some yummy food, you might win their friendship.

Swimming Hedgehogs? Believe It or Not!


These swimmers can paddle across streams and ponds when needed. Their tiny legs churn like pistons, and their air-filled spines help them stay afloat. So next time you’re by a pond, keep an eye out – you might just see one of them doing the doggy paddle!

They Cover Themselves in Spit

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Hedgehogs have a unique self-anointing behavior. They’ll foam at the mouth (don’t worry, it’s harmless!) and then spread the foamy saliva over their spikes. Scientists aren’t entirely sure why they do this, but some theories suggest it helps mask their scent from predators or acts as a natural insect repellent.

Their Babies Are Called Hoglets

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The moms give birth to litters of 4-7 hoglets. These miniature creatures are born blind and naked (no spikes yet!), but within a few days, their soft spines start to appear. Hoglets are weaned at about six weeks old and ready to venture independently at nearly ten weeks. 

They Have Impressive Memories 

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Hedgehogs might look goofy, but they have good memories, especially regarding food! Evidence shows they can recall the location of tasty treats for weeks, even after the source is gone. So next time you leave out a bowl of mealworms for your friend, they’ll remember the spot for future snacking sessions.

Spikey Climbers


Hedgehogs are surprisingly good climbers. As a result of their sharp claws and stout legs, they can scale fences, low walls, and tree trunks. This agility helps them access hidden nooks and crannies for food and shelter. However, their climbing skills aren’t quite on par with Spiderman – so don’t expect them to be scaling skyscrapers anytime soon.

A Toothy Grin


Did you know that hedgehogs hide a surprising secret behind their adorable smiles? These little critters boast quite an impressive dental lineup, with up to 44 teeth! These may seem like a lot for such a small creature, but each one plays a crucial role in helping hedgehogs navigate their wild world. Their sharp incisors are perfect for biting into tough insects and snipping through vegetation, while their molars help grind up their food into digestible bits.

Forget Milk: Hedgehogs Are Lactose Intolerant!


Here’s a fun fact for the next time you see someone offering milk to a hedgehog in a cartoon – they are lactose intolerant! Their little bodies can’t digest milk sugar, so offering them milk can make them sick. If you want to leave out a treat for them, stick to mealworms, cat kibble, or specialized hedgehog grub.

Over 5,000 Spines

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Hedgehogs are covered in thousands of sharp spines, with an average adult sporting around 5,000 to 7,000 quills. The spines are modified hairs and help protect hedgehogs from predators. These are loosely attached to the skin and fall out naturally when they get old or damaged.

Nocturnal Party Animals


Hedgehogs are nocturnal beings, which means they sleep during the day and come out at night. It makes sense when you consider their main energy source—insects! Bugs are more active at night, so that’s when hedgehogs do their hunting and exploring. 

Ancient Creatures with a Rich History

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Hedgehogs have been around for a long time – fossil records suggest they’ve been roaming the Earth for at least 15 million years! They’ve even been featured in art and mythology from various historical cultures. The Romans believed hedgehogs could ward off evil spirits, while some African cultures associate them with good luck. These prickly creatures have a long and fascinating history as companions and cultural symbols.

They Are Surprisingly Strong (For Their Size)

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Don’t let their small stature fool you – hedgehogs are surprisingly strong. They have powerful legs that allow them to dig burrows and climb obstacles. There have been documented cases of hedgehogs pushing open small gates or lifting objects several times their weight! Maybe they should be called “Hedge-hunks” instead.


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