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AFRICAN PYGMY HEDGEHOG

Scientific Name: Atelerix albiventris
Order
Erinaceomorpha

Family
Erinaceidae

Habitat & Range
As its name suggests, the African pygmy hedgehog can be found throughout most of central and eastern Africa. They inhabit grassy environments, open woodlands and dry, rocky areas, typically avoiding forests and swamplands.

FIND ME AT EPZ
Name: BERT (male)
Location: Education Department (behind the scenes)
Born: 12/01/2010
Arrived at EPZ: 06/22/2011
 
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Identification
The African pygmy hedgehog has an oval-shaped body covered in brown or gray spines with white tips. They range from 6 to 10 inches in length and 8 to 21 ounces in weight. Their legs and tail are short while their nose is long and pointy.

Diet
African pygmy hedgehogs feed on small animals and insects such as grubs, snails and spiders. They occasionally eat larger animals including scorpions and snakes.

Reproduction & Lifespan
Females are fertile throughout the year and mating is most common during rainy season due to abundant food. Males approach females and court them with a bird-like call. Gestation lasts 30 to 40 days, during which time the females build nests for their pups. Litter size ranges from 2 to 10 pups, with 4 being the most common.

African pygmy hedgehogs live no more than 3 years in the wild and up to 10 years in captivity.

Fantastic Fact
Spitballing
When an African pygmy hedgehog is introduced to a new or exceptionally strong smell, it sometimes creates a large amount of saliva, which it spreads onto its spines as a defense mechanism. Another, more common defense tactic is tensing all of the muscles and rolling into a ball to protect the head and limbs.

 
 
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