Where Do Hedgehogs Live?

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The natural living environment of hedgehogs is found in Europe and Africa, in both cold and tropical climates. Hedgehogs from cold areas tend to hibernate through the winter. Learn more about hedgehog habitats with information from a science teacher in this free video on animal habitats.

Part of the Video Series: Animal Habitats
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Video Transcript

You walk into a pet store. You see a tiny little ball of spikes, and you ask yourself "Am I looking at a little baby porcupine?" Actually, what you're probably looking at is a pygmy hedgehog. I'm Janice Creneti. I've been teaching animal and environmental science for about twenty years, and I'm here to answer the question "Where do hedgehogs live?" There's over fourteen species of hedgehog. Hedgehogs are mammals, but unlike porcupines, which some people might confuse them for, they're actually insectivores. If you were to look inside the mouth of this hedgehog you'd see rows of little teeny tiny teeth that they use for crunching things like grass hoppers and other insects. Porcupines on the other hand are rodents, and thus vegetarians. They use those big teeth to chomp on things. Hedgehogs are found traditionally in Europe and Africa. The ones here are imported into the United States for the pet trade, but we don't naturally see hedgehogs in our environment here in the United States. Hedgehogs can be found in colder areas, they can also be found in more tropical climates. In the colder areas they tend to hibernate in the winter months when there's not a lot of food because the area might be covered in snow. Now pygmy hedgehogs, while they may look awfully cute, they don't necessarily make ideal pets. One of the reasons being hedgehogs, by and large, are nocturnal. That means they're active at night, so you're hedgehogs awake when you want to sleep, and you're hedgehog can be sleeping when you want to be awake. There's probably other safer pet routes to go, like perhaps a guinea pig or a gerbil. Hedgehogs eat a lot of food. Those insects need to be consumed in vast quantity to produce enough energy to keep a hedgehog alive. And like I said because of those sharp little teeth they can give you a nasty bite. But they're an important species because they help to control insects that can sometimes over run crops. I'm Janice Creneti, and this is "Where do hedgehogs live?"

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