Hedgehogs are unarguably one of the cutest pets you can find. Once they become comfortable with you, they can make you run after them around the house. They are young, active, and full of life. Although hedgehogs are solitary animals, they enjoy their time with their owners once in a while.
Today, we will be discussing fun and true facts about hedgehogs that you might have never heard of before. These facts are interesting and will intrigue you more about your pet. Keep reading to discover these facts.
How Were Hedgehogs Named?
Hedgehogs make out to be excellent foragers. Hence, they are named after being regarded as foragers that perform exceptionally. The name can be connected to the ability of the hedgehogs to seek their prey.
Since hedgehogs are very picky about the insects they like to prey on, they are termed animals that are very specific about the type of insects they choose as their prey. They are blessed with a great sense of smell because of their long snouts, which act as their nose.
Hedgehogs also have sharp and curved claws that make digging up the ground easier for the hedgehogs while they are hunting. Hence, hedgehogs are named after their hunting capabilities.
You Might Never See a Hedgehog During The Day (The Wild One)
Hedgehogs are nocturnal animals. The term nocturnal implies that they like sleeping during the day in their wheels or a specifically built box for them to sleep in. Hedgehogs like sleeping in all day and being awake all night.
They eat, play, and do much of their activities during the night. The fact that they stay up all night and do most of their activities during that time is why they can be a little difficult to manage. Running around your hedgehog while all you want to do is to hop on a bed and sleep is not easy.
The Mystery of The Hedgehog’s Spine:
Many video games and animated movies portray hedgehogs as animals that can shoot their spines. Some people even regard the spine as a quill, but that is not the case in hedgehogs. Hedgehogs do not have quills.The difference between a quill and a spine is that quills are fine spines that can be used to attack predators because they can be detached from the animals.
Hedgehogs have spines because the spines cannot be used to attack predators because they cannot detach from the hedgehogs’ bodies. A hedgehog’s spine can easily shed, and it can be replaced as they mature and age.
Since hedgehogs do not have quills, they cannot shoot at their predators. Their spines become spiky and painful to touch when they sense a predator or get anxious. But they cannot shoot their spine at their predators.
Hedgehogs have spines all over their back. The spines are very short in length and are said to be approximately somewhere between one and three centimeters. There are a total of five thousand to seven thousand spines present on a hedgehog’s back.
Hedgehogs And Their Sight And Smell:
Hedgehogs have a brilliant sense of smell. Hedgehogs have pretty bad eyesight and have trouble looking at things because of it. The bad eyesight is a reason why the hedgehogs adjust better to darkness. Hedgehogs are nocturnal and do not mind the darkness at all due to their extremely weak eyesight.
Hedgehogs can smell things that are as far as one inch away from their nose. Hence, we can say that hedgehogs have an exceptional sense of smell. They use this to track down their way, their food and find the litter box for themselves.
When hedgehogs come across an unfamiliar smell, they spread their saliva all over their body. The reason for doing this is not clear enough, but many researchers say that hedgehogs end up doing this because they are protecting themselves from the risk of a predator.
Most people seem to think that hedgehogs have a diet that is connected to the diet of herbivores. But that is not the case. Hedgehogs are termed insectivores and like snacking on insects and pests. A hedgehog’s diet is referred to as the gardener’s friend by many hedgehog owners and hedgehog researchers.
The name gardener’s friend has been allocated to the hedgehogs because they consume all of the pests present in the garden and might ruin the plants. Hedgehogs are, therefore, termed as plant savers.
Suppose you own other pets such as cats and dogs. You might be able to invite a hedgehog to your garden. Hedgehogs like invading gardens and consuming all the pests and some of the pets present in the gardens.
If your hedgehog has trouble eating, keeping the hedgehog’s food in the garden along with the pests might be a good idea to work towards a good appetite for your hedgehog.
Hedgehogs have quite a lot of flea present on their skin. You can guess the number of fleas that are present on a hedgehog’s body. You might be close. It is more than a hundred.
Most hedgehog owners have claimed, and many researchers have stated that hedgehogs have a total of four hundred up to five hundred fleas present on their skin.
Hedgehog flea is known as Archaepsylla and is usually regarded as safe for humans. Hedgehog flea does not bite or infect humans in any way possible.
Short, Interesting Hedgehog Facts
- Hedgehogs hibernate during winters. They stay active in temperate areas. When the areas are too hot, they tend to go through aestivation, similar to hibernation.
- Hedgehogs have a total of fifteen species.
- Hedgehogs have a lifespan of up to six years.
- Hedgehogs are unaffected by snake venom. Their digestive system stays unaffected after venom consumption because they consume insects as part of their diet.
- Baby hedgehogs have a special name dedicated to them. Baby hedgehogs are referred to as hoglets.