Hedgehog Facts



  • The Eurasian hedgehog has between 5000 and 7000 spines on its back and sides, each erected by its own muscle, creating a defense difficult for predators to penetrate.
  • When a hedgehog rolls into a ball at the approach of danger, a special muscle draws its loose skin together (like a drawstring on a bag) over its head and rump.
  • From Roman to medieval times in Europe, it was believed that hedgehogs often carried a supply of fruit with them, impaled on their spines.
  • Over 150,000 hedgehogs are killed every year on the roads of France alone.
  • The moonrats of Southeast Asia and China are closely related to hedgehogs, but have no spines.
  • The long-eared and desert hedgehogs of Asia and North Africa dig their own individual, short burrows.
  • Hedgehogs can go without water for long periods, and if dehydrated will drink half their bodyweight in one go.
  • A male western European hedgehog has a foraging territory of up to 35 hectares.
  • Lack of food rather than cooling temperatures causes a hedgehog to hibernate.
  • The hedgehog keeps up a ceaseless whistling sound while hunting for food.