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Five Myths About Hedgehogs

1. Hedgehogs are related to porcupines: False. Hedgehogs and porcupines are very different. Hedgehogs are classified as insectivores and porcupines are rodents. Hedgehog "quills" are actually modified hairs that, while sharp, are short and firmly attached to the hedgehog.
 
2. Hedgehogs carry diseases: False. African hedgehogs harbor no more diseases than any other indoor pet animal and, because they are generally kept in a small space, are less likely to transmit illness.
 
3. Hedgehogs can be released "into the wild": Wrong. African hedgehogs must be kept warm at all times (72 degrees fahrenheit or higher) and will perish from exposure if "released".

4. Hedgehog breeding is easy and profitable: Not the case. Special skills are required to be a conscientious hedgehog breeder, and uninformed breeding presents very real dangers to both mother and babies.

5. African hedgehogs are "pygmies": False. The term "pygmy" was attached to imported Central African and Algerian hedgehogs by pet wholesalers in North America so as to differentiate them from their slightly larger British and European cousins. Actually, there is considerable weight overlap between these species.

Back to Hedgehog Information.

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