20 Enchanting Facts About Hedgehogs

Hedgie power!

1. The name for a baby hedgehog is a hoglet.

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2. Hedgies have poor eyesight, but excellent senses of smell and hearing.

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3. Hedgehogs got their name through their foraging habits.

As they move through the hedges looking for worms and insects, they make a piggy grunting noise. Hence, hedge-hog.

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4. Each hedgie has around 5,000 spines — each of which lasts about a year.

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5. Hedgehogs are known as the gardener’s friend.

This is because they will eat slugs, beetles, caterpillars, etc., and do no harm.

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6. There are 17 different species of hedgehog.

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7. The most common domesticated hedgehog is the African pygmy hedgehog.

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8. European hedgehogs hibernate throughout winter.

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9. It is illegal to own a hedgehog in Pennsylvania.

As well as in several other U.S. states (California, Georgia, Hawaii, and Douglas County, Nebraska). Equally, in Great Britain, European hedgehogs are considered endangered.

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10. Hedgehogs are not affected by adder venom.

This is due to the protein erinacin in the hedgehog’s muscular system.

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11. The first hedgehog was domesticated in 4 B.C.

The Romans raised hedgehogs for quills and meat.

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12. They’re well-represented in literature.

Shakespeare mentions hedgehogs in The Tempest and Midsummer Night’s Dream, and he refers to “hedgepigs” and “urchins.”

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13. Hedgehogs are lactose intolerant.

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14. The collective noun is “an array of hedgehogs.”

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15. In 2006, McDonald’s in the U.K. changed the McFlurry to a hedgehog-friendly design.

Previously, hedgies were getting their heads caught in the lids.

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16. A hedgehog can run over six feet per second.

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17. They’re best friends with dinosaurs.

At least, that’s what this photo would seem to suggest.

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18. They’re good at wearing sombreros.

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19. They love to dance.

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20. And a hedgehog taking a bath is the cutest thing known to man.

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Ailbhe Malone is the UK lifestyle editor for BuzzFeed and is based in London.
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