Physical Characteristics of a Hedgehog

Hedgehogs are small spiny mammals that changes color from black to brown, in this article we will talk about Hedgehogs weigh, spines, behavior, teeth, diet, color and odor.


The typical hedgehogs weigh around ½ pounds and the African hedgehogs weigh around 1 pound. In the wild they live for about 3 to 4 years but as a pet they can live for 10 years.

Grown hedgehogs have a larger build that weigh around 2 pounds like a small size of a guinea pig. Hedgehogs won’t get fat. Mostly 6-8 inches are the common size of a hedgehog but as what everyone observed it is difficult to measure hedgehogs because its body changes shape when it is sitting, relaxing and balled up.


Their spine is most different and common physical hedgehog characteristics. The heaviness of their spines weighs around 35 percent of hedgehogs. They are spines not quills because their hair sometimes mistaken as quills. The difference between a spine and a quill is it has solid shafts compared to quills, they are hollow.

The use of hedgehog’s spines is their defense so they point in altered directions protecting the body and skin. Every time they roll up their muscle adjusts like a drawstring. They hide their legs and head by building a ball and use its spine for protection. Just be careful when touching them because if you are hit by their spine it is painful. Their spines will lay flat towards the tail and will feel smooth when they are relaxed.


Hedgehogs are nocturnal and found sleeping during the day in leaf piles or rocky places. They are able to perform hibernating that depends in their conditions. They roll up into a ball when they hear a sound or movement that is not familiar to them. They bring their nose and arms close to their body to form a ball of spines.


Hedgehogs have 44 teeth and the first teeth are larger than the rest but not as different size from their other teeth. Their teeth do not continue to grow so they don’t need a regular need to chew to wear down their teeth. Hedgehogs have 4 toes at the back feet and 5 toes on the front feet.  The nails from the front feet can be trim frequently compared to the back feet.


Hedgehogs are insectivore mammals that survive with just eating nothing than small insects. Their diet consists of insects, slugs, snails and worms and kills and eats snakes sometimes.


About the hedgehogs color their quills can range in color from black band to very peach pale color. Their spines are solid white.  They change color variations as they grow old. One year is the best age to determine their color. Hedgehog’s true color can be concluding through its skin, face, nose, and quill and leg coloration.


Hedgehogs don’t have any a particular body odor and their urine doesn’t have ammonia like rabbits. Hedgehogs have discharges that do stinks. Cage cleaning is the answer of keeping the hedgehog smell.