African Pygmy Hedgehog

African Hedgehog

African Pygmy Hedgehog
Atelerix albiventris


CLASS
Mammalia
ORDER
Eulipotyphla
FAMILY
Erinaceidae

Range

Senegal in western Africa to southern Somalia and Tanzania on the continent’s eastern edge.


Habitat

Semiarid areas and dry savannahs


Diet

Insects, eggs, frogs, fruit, fungi, lizards, mice, and snakes

Weight

8 – 24 oz

Size

6.5 – 9 in, with 0.5 in tail

Gestation

35 to 58 days

Young

Avg. 3 - 5

IUCN Status

Not Listed

Facts

  • Also called four-toed hedgehogs. Hedgehogs are related to gymnures and shrews.
  • Depend on their excellent hearing and sense of smell that can detect prey 2 inches or more below ground.
  • Hedgehogs may have 5,000 to 6,500 quills.
  • Solitary and territorial; find shelter in and under logs, rocks, roots of trees and brush piles, in termite mounds, in burrows.
  • Escape predators by hiding or rolling into a ball and using their spines as a deterrent. A unique muscle, called the orbicularis panniculi, circling their body under the edge of their spiny coat cause each spine to stand erect. Its spines are not released into the skin of an attacker, as those of a porcupine.
  • Newborns are blind and weigh about 0.35 ounces. Eyes open in 8 – 18 days
  • Young are born with soft, short spines that lengthen and harden soon after birth.

 

Conservation

There are no major threats to this species as a whole.