Four-toed Hedgehog

Four-toed hedgehogThe Four-toed Hedgehog (Atelerix albiventris) lives in the forests and deserts of Africa. It has a long, pointed snout, round eyes and oval ears. This species of hedgehog gets its name from its back feet. They have just 4 toes each, while its front feet have five toes each (talk about a fascinating anatomy).

The four-toed hedgehog's eyesight is adequate, but they primarily depend on their strong sense of smell and exceptional hearing. Four-toed hedgehogs vocalize by hissing, growling and chirping. These sounds get louder when the animal gets agitated. Their Life span, in captivity, is from 8 to 10 years. Their life span is just 2 to 3 years in the wild, where they are preyed upon by lions and birds. Four-toed hedgehogs eat frogs, snails, eggs, carrion and birds. They also eat peanuts, seeds, roots and even fungi.

The male four-toed hedgehog will court a female by snorting and growling while it moves in circles. After mating, the female will gestate for thirty to forty days. The litter sizes range between 2 and 10 newborns. The newborns are born with their eyes closed. They remain closed for eight to 18 days.

Interesting facts: When threatened a hedgehog will form itself into a ball, hiding its most sensitive body parts, its head, feet and belly. Also, These hedgehogs are very tolerant to snake venom.
They are around forty times as immune to venom as the similarly sized guinea pig.

Picture of the four-toed hedgehog by Jkasvi, licensed under GFDL

The Four-toed hedgehog is listed as Least Concern (LR/lc), lowest risk. Does not qualify for a more at risk category. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category, on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

Namings for the fourtoed hedgehog
A young / baby of a fourtoed hedgehog is called a 'hoglet'. The females are called 'sow' and males 'boar'. A fourtoed hedgehog group is called a 'array'.
Some facts about the
African pygmy (four-toed) hedgehog

Adult weight : 0.6 kg (1.32 lbs)

Maximum longevity : 11 years

Female maturity :84 days

Gestation : 35 days

Weaning : 44 days

Litter size : 6

Litters per year : 1

Weight at birth : 0.01 kg (0.022 lbs)

Basal metabolic rate : 1 W

Body mass : 0.45 kg (0.99 lbs)

Temperature : 34.85 °C (94.73 °F)

Source: AnAge, licensed under CC

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