Four-Toed Hedgehog

Atelerix albiventris

Animals of Africa Back
Hedgehogs are built for survival. Their large ears give them an excellent sense of hearing, while their wet snout gives them a great sense of smell. Their body is covered in over 3,000 short spines, which are simply modified hairs made from keratin. Considering this, hedgehogs have an exceptional form of protection. In fact, when a hedgehog is frightened, it will raise its spines upright in a crisscross pattern and roll up into a ball, tucking in its face, belly, feet, and tail for complete protection. Unlike porcupines that shed their quills, hedgehogs do not shed their spines.

The optimal temperature in the four-toed hedgehog’s habitat is anywhere between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. When the temperature gets either too hot or too cold, finding food can become a problem. Thus, this species actually uses summer estivation and winter hibernation to make it through those difficult months.


Spiders and insects, but may be found eating small amounts of plant matter or small vertebrates
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