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Erinaceus europaeus


They were introduced to New Zealand in the late 1800’s. They are also found in the temperate parts (not too hot) of Asia north of the Himalayas, North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, Europe and the islands off the coast of the UK.


They live in open woodlands, scrubby areas, farms and parks.

Body Traits

They are small, rounded mammals that only weigh about 2 pounds. They have a pointed face and small eyes. They are covered with short spines. They roll up with spines pointed out if they feel threatened.


They mostly live alone except to breed. They are good climbers and swimmers.


They will eat worms, slugs, snails, insects, frogs, lizards and even mice and small birds.


They are killed by dogs, polecats, badgers, owls and man.

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Females are pregnant (gestation) for up to 6 weeks and have 1- 9 tiny, undeveloped babies. They are born with spines under their wet skin. As their skin dries after birth, their spines pop out.

Lifespan and/or Conservation Status

They live about 6 years in the wild. They are listed as Lower Risk - least concern.



Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Erinaceomorpha
Family: Erinaceidae
Subfamily: Erinaceinae
Genus: Erinaceus
Species: Erinaceus europaeus

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