20 Enchanting Facts About Hedgehogs

Hedgie power!

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

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

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.

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

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

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

6. There are 17 different species of hedgehog.

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

8. European hedgehogs hibernate throughout winter.

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.

10. Hedgehogs are not affected by adder venom.

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

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

The Romans raised hedgehogs for quills and meat.

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.”

13. Hedgehogs are lactose intolerant.

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

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.

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

17. They’re best friends with dinosaurs.

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

18. They’re good at wearing sombreros.

19. They love to dance.

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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