(Last Updated On: April 15, 2021)

The Somali hedgehog, scientific name Atelerix sclateri is a species of mammal within the family Erinaceidae. It is endemic to Somalia. The Somali hedgehog is nocturnal.

Somali Hedgehog Profile

The Somali is a savanna species and, like most hedgehogs, is believed to reside in grasslands and different open habitats.

The Somali Hedgehog has chocolate-brown and black banded quills. It has white fur in its underbelly and brown fur on the rear.

Hedgehogs have gained recognition as pets in the latest a long time. Before you add one to your family, Dr. Krista Keller, a veterinarian at the University of Illinois Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana, recommends studying all you’ll be able to about these animals’ distinctive wants.

Hedgehogs are lively at night. They dig, chew, and forage by the darkest hours. Although they make wonderful animal ambassadors for the San Diego Zoo, hedgehogs don’t make good pets.

In reality, it’s unlawful to have a hedgehog as a pet in lots of locations. Hedgehogs have teeth—as much as 44 of them, and, like any wildlife with teeth, they’ll chew! They may carry parasites on their quills. Hedgehogs are wondrous creatures, however, do not forget that they only aren’t as cuddly as a dog or a cat.

Distribution

The Somali hedgehog is native to areas on the outer borders of Somalia.

Somali Hedgehog Habitat

It is a savanna species that’s believed to reside principally in grasslands and different open habitats.

The desert-dwelling varieties reside in areas that obtain little rainfall. Others reside all through Asia. European hedgehogs are widespread in Europe, from the Mediterranean to Scandinavia. In Africa, hedgehogs reside in savannas, forests, and even city streets, the place they waddle alongside, foraging for bugs.

Hedgehogs reside on the ground, by no means in timber. They prefer to reside alone and could also be territorial. Some hedgehogs dig burrows within the soil as much as 20 inches (50 centimeters) deep.

Others want to make nests with useless leaves, grasses, and branches. Desert hedgehogs cover between boulders or burrow into the sand to flee the desert warmth. In Asia, long-eared hedgehogs typically transfer into burrows left by turtles, foxes, gerbils, and otters.

Somali Hedgehog

Somali Hedgehog Characteristics

Somali hedgehog is usually shrew-like in type, with long snouts and quick tails. They are, nevertheless, a lot bigger than shrews, starting from 10–15 cm (4–6 in) in body size and 40–60 grams (1.4–2.1 oz) in weight, within the case of the short-tailed gymnure, as much as 26–45 cm (10–18 in) and 1.0–1.4 kg (2.2–3.1 lb) within the moonrat.

All however one species have 5 toes in every foot, in some instances with sturdy claws for digging, they usually have giant eyes and ears.

Hedgehogs possess hair modified into sharp spines to type protecting masking over the higher body and flanks, whereas gymnures have solely regular hair.

Most species have anal scent glands, however, these are much better developed in gymnures, which might have a robust odor.

Somali hedgehogs are omnivorous, with the key a part of their diet consisting of bugs, earthworms, and different small invertebrates.

additionally eat seeds and fruit, and sometimes birds’ eggs, together with any carrion they arrive throughout. Their teeth are sharp and fitted to impaling invertebrate prey.

The dental system for erinaceids is: 2-3.1.4.33.1.2-4.3

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Somali Hedgehog Behavior

This small, spiky animal can curl into a decent ball with spines protruding in all instructions. When they roll up, a particular extremely developed round muscle that runs alongside the facet of the body and throughout the rump and neck contracts and types a “bag” into which the body, head, and legs are folded.

They curl up if disturbed or frightened — solely the strongest predators, such because the badger, can pry them open. They additionally sleep in this place, so are hardly ever caught unprotected.

Hedgehogs are nocturnal. They sleep in the course of the day and are very lively at night. “They will be getting up for their ‘day’ when you are having dinner, which can be a nice time to interact with them before you go to bed,” Dr. Keller says.

Keep in thoughts that their nighttime exercise, together with working on a wheel, might imply you’ll not need their enclosure in your bedroom. Exercise wheels are noisy! (Dr. Keller additionally says that train wheels ought to by no means have a wire backside, as a result of this design results in fractured limbs.)

“Unfortunately, many captive hedgehogs are overweight, so exercise opportunities are very important,” says Dr. Keller. “Allow your hedgehog time outside of the enclosure to explore or swim while supervised a few hours each week.”

Somali Hedgehog Diet

Hedgehogs are insectivores. But they’ll additionally eat different ground-dwelling creatures akin to slugs and snails. The European hedgehog dines on earthworms, beetles, millipedes, caterpillars, slugs, snails, earwigs, and birds’ eggs and chicks.

Some hedgies, like these in Africa’s deserts, even eat useless wildlife, small rodents and snakes, and scorpions. The menu of a South African hedgehog consists of all of the above in addition to fungi, frogs, lizards, termites, grasshoppers, and moths.

Somali Hedgehog Eating behavior

They get up at nightfall and start foraging for meals. They eat one-third of their body weight in a single night. Their favorite meals are bugs, earthworms, snails, and slugs, making it a welcome visitor in lots of suburban gardens — they’re even stored as a pet.

They are additionally recognized to eat eggs, small mammals, birds, frogs, reptiles, fruit, fungi, and roots. Although not fully resistant to toxins, they’ve sufficient resistance, which permits them to eat small toxic snakes and scorpions with no unwell impact.

In the wild, hedgehogs eat all kinds of bugs, crops, and roots. That diet could be difficult to recreate in captivity.

“The best hedgehog diet would be a specially formulated hedgehog or insectivore diet, of which there are many commercially available preparations,” says Dr. Keller. “This diet can be supplemented with treats such as mealworms, crickets, and fruits and vegetables.”

Somali Hedgehog

Somali Hedgehog Adaptability

The hedgehog’s greatest protection against predators is its spiky outer armor. With about 3,000 to five,000 quills masking its back, the hedgehog can defend itself from predators that suppose it will make a tasty snack.

When threatened, the hedgehog raises its quills upright in a crisscross pattern, making its body pointy and sharp.

It makes use of its stomach muscle groups, back muscle groups, and further pores and skin to tuck in its head, legs, and tail to curve into a whole ball, defending its delicate stomach.

The stable ball of spikes is difficult for predators to open.

Somali Hedgehog Behavior

Hedgehogs are nocturnal, however, gymnures are much less so, and could also be lively in the course of the day. Many species reside in easy burrows, whereas others assemble short-term nests on the floor from leaves and grass, or shelter in hole logs or related hiding locations. Erinaceids are solitary animals outdoors during the breeding season, and the daddy performs no function in elevating the younger.

Hedgehogs have a peculiar follow the place they are going to style or chew on an object of curiosity and produce foamy saliva. They will then proceed to self-anoint and rub this saliva throughout their body. The motive for this follow is basically unknown.

Threats

There is little recognized about this species, however from what is understood there are believed to be no present threats to the hedgehog’s habitat.

Somali Hedgehog

Somali Hedgehog Reproduction

Female Somali hedgehogs give beginning after a gestation interval of around six to seven weeks. The younger are born blind and hairless, though hedgehogs start to sprout their spines within 36 hours of beginning.

Baby hedgehogs are referred to as hoglets or piglets. An adult feminine normally offers beginning to 4 to seven younger a few times a year. Newborns appear to be chubby white caterpillars.

They do have quills at birth, however, these are delicate and versatile. During birth, the quills are coated by puffy, fluid-filled pores and skin to keep away from hurting the mom. Within a day, the hoglet’s pores and skin shrinks, and about 150 white quills seem.

At every week old, hoglets might push one another over the milk provide. By the time they’re a month old, they’ve opened their eyes, and their back has dense, darkish quills. The mom takes her hoglets on foraging journeys, exhibiting them learn how to discover meals.

If a younger hedgehog is separated from its mom, it might make a twittering or a whistling sound to let Mom know the place to search out it. Adult hedgies squeal and grunt when they’re excited or afraid. They additionally grunt whereas foraging.

Depending on the species, it takes 6 to 13 weeks for the hoglets to be weaned. When they’re prepared, they go away with their mom to start a brand new life as a solo hedgie.

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