Baby hedgehogs, also called hoglets or urchins, are tiny mammals with spiky quills and furry tummies. They are some of the most popular exotic house pets in the world, and for a good reason! These tiny creatures are astounding, complex animals.
Let’s find out five amazing facts about hoglets and look at some seriously cute pictures!
#1: A Baby Hedgehog is Called a Hoglet
Baby hedgehogs are called hoglets. It should be noted that hedgehogs can also go by less common names. For example, they are sometimes referred to as hedgehoglets, too. However, this hasn’t always been true. Before they got their official name in the 1990s, they were commonly called pups, kits, piglets, and even urchins! A group of baby hedgehogs is called a prickle – how cute!
#2: Baby Hedgehogs Cry, Quack, and Cough!
Baby Hedgehogs can sense danger just like humans. When they are scared or sense that trouble is nearby, they call out in distress for their mother.
The noise they make when they’re in distress is similar to that of a baby’s cry. When they are extremely hurt or in dire danger, they can even let out a head-splitting scream! To the untrained ear, these sounds can be mistaken for a human infant.
Crying isn’t the only noise that hoglets make. In fact, they get the “hog” part of their name because they grunt and snort like a pig. The tiny mammals use many different sounds to communicate, as well. For example, they quack when they need help, hiss when they’re angry, and cough to show discomfort.
#3: Hoglets are Nocturnal
Baby hedgehogs are nocturnal, which means they spend most of the hours they are awake at night. In the daytime, these tiny creatures take to rest. They make their beds underneath bushes and other foliage, which provide a safe place to hide. Hoglets also prefer cool, dry places, so the shade from their hiding places keeps them nice and comfortable.
When the sun goes down, baby hedgehogs come to life. Their eyesight isn’t very good, but they make up for it with exceptional hearing and smell. This means that no matter how dark it is around them, the spiny mammals can hunt their prey.
Even though hedgehog babies are tiny, they are mighty. You might not guess by looking at them, but they can travel over two miles in a single evening. They are foragers, so they prefer to eat meals that are close to the ground and easy to catch. However, if the opportunity arises, hoglets can kill and eat snakes, since they are immune to venom.
#4: Hoglets Protect Themselves in Unusual Ways
With a maximum length of 9 inches and an adult weight of 1.25 pounds, hedgehogs are pint-sized mammals. Due to their size, they have no shortage of predators. Foxes, birds of prey, badgers, and even ferrets eat hedgehogs. Since hoglets don’t have the size or strength to fend off these animals, they must get creative to ensure their safety.
One of the main ways that hedgehogs protect themselves from predators is by masking their scent. The first way they may do this is by rolling around in their feces. To a human, this might sound like a disgusting habit, but for hoglets, it’s a matter of life or death.
Perhaps the most fascinating way that hedgehog hoglet protect themselves is through a process called anointing. Anointing is a habit that involves a hedgehog producing lots of foamy spit. Then, they contort their bodies in all sorts of different directions to spread the saliva over their quills. The result? Their scent is masked and they are effectively safer from predators.
Despite their best efforts, prevention of danger is not always possible for the baby hedgehog. When a threat is imminent, hoglets have a few other ways to stay safe. The first and most common strategy they use is to curl up in a ball. When they do this, their spines ward off predators and their organs are protected from the outside.
Baby hedgehogs can also bite or hiss to try to scare off animals that want to hurt them.
#5: Hoglets are Seriously Tiny!
There’s no doubt that hedgehog babies are tiny creatures. As babies, they can measure at a ridiculously small four inches. They are also extremely light, weighing only 10 grams or one-third of an ounce. Even as adults, the largest species of hedgehog, the European Hedgehog, only grows to be about 14 inches long and weighs up to 80 ounces.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © KAMONRAT/Shutterstock.com
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
How much do baby hedgehogs weigh?
The smallest baby hedgehog, called African Pygmy, weighs less than an ounce at birth. Most hedgehogs never grow to weigh more than a single pound.
What do baby hedgehogs eat?
Baby hedgehogs survive solely on their mother’s milk for the first three to four weeks of their lives. After that, they eat a diet of crickets, mice,
Where do baby hedgehogs live?
Hoglets live in wild areas of Asia, Africa, and Europe. They are kept worldwide as house pets, too!
What are baby hedgehogs called?
A single baby hedgehog is called a hoglet. A group is called a litter, array, or prickle. Before the 1990s, hoglets were also called pups, urchins, kits, and even piglets! Baby pigs are also called piglets, and baby seals are pups, too!
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