Southern African hedgehog
|Southern African Hedgehog|
A. Smith, 1831
|Southern African Hedgehog range|
Their bodies are covered by sharp spines. The average mass of a fully grown male is 350g. The main color is brown but there are other colors too.
Their protective mechanism is to curl into a ball when threatened. This, however, is not always enough defence against the powerful claws and hard feet of predatory birds, such as owls.
The gestation period is one month with a litter of between one and nine newborns.
The Southern African Hedgehog is insectivorous, with a wild specimen's diet consisting mainly of earthworms and crickets. However, the South African Hedgehog has evolved to become mostly omnivorous due to habitat loss and trash from human civilization being readily available.
Southern African Hedgehogs are nocturnal. Although these hedgehogs can be found in most environments, they prefer grass and Bushveld that is not too damp and with a good covering of leaves and other debris. They will spend most of the day underneath this cover of leaves or under bushes and in holes; only coming out at night to feed. Sleeping places are changed daily with only some wintering and breeding nests being semi-permanent.
- Insectivore Specialist Group 1996. Atelerix frontalis. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 30 July 2007.
- Translated from: Die Wilde Diere van Suid-Afrika, Anthony Bannister 1985; ISBN 0-620-07447-7
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