Animals / Mammal Facts / Desert Hedgehog - Defensive Desert Survivor

Desert Hedgehog - Defensive Desert Survivor


desert hedgehog africa middle east

 

The desert hedgehog is one of the smallest hedgehogs in existence, but also one of the most interesting. “Standing” a mere 5.5 to 9 inches (14-23 cm) weighing in at only 10 to 18 ounces (283-510 g), the desert hedgehog inhabits the arid scrubs and of course deserts of the Sahara Desert, Algeria, Chad, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Niger, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, and possibly Ethiopia. The desert hedgehog has a body covered in spines (like all hedgehogs) with a coloration that is normally sandy with darker tips, and occasionally white or very dark.

 

 

dark desert hedgehog africa

 

desert hedgehog carrying food

 

The desert hedgehog lives a nocturnal lifestyle, spending it's day inside a small burrow that it digs to avoid the heat, and coming out at night to hunt for food. It will eat invertebrates, baby snakes, and bird's eggs, but it's favorite food source is scorpions; of which it will nip the stinger off before eating. Due to generations of desert living, these small survivors have highly adapted kidneys and can go long periods of time without water. Speaking of surviving, the desert hedgehog's most interesting characteristic is how it responds to danger. Whenever threatened, it muscles will tighten and pull all the skin around its bodies. They will then freeze and roll into a ball so that it's spines will stick out in all directions. In this state, it's almost impossible to do damage to the tiny creature. The desert hedgehog may not be the biggest creature in it's environment, but with it's vast abilities to survive, it's one of the toughest.

 

desert hedgehog spiny

 

 

 

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