How Long Do Hedgehogs Live (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 10 years

There are different types of animals all over the world and some of them are on the verge of extinction. There are many ways to save animals like sanctuaries and saving the forests also matters. Many animals thrive in the woodlands, some in the deserts, some in the forests, and some live long when taken care of well.

The average lifespan of any living organism is based on various factors, like where they live, what they eat, how healthy they are, and even if they live as pets or live in the wild. According to researches, the animals or birds that are well taken care of as domestic pets live longer than the ones living in the wild. The ones living in the wild tend to come across more dangers like predators or habitat destruction.

One animal that is commonly found in the woodlands, and can be also adopted as pets are hedgehogs. Normally, a hedgehog can live for at least 7 to 10 years, but the lifespan can differ under circumstances.

How Long Do Hedgehogs Live?

HabitatTime
Woodlands5 years
In the Wild7 years
In houses10 years

There are many types of hedgehogs like the European hedgehogs, Long-eared hedgehogs, Daurian hedgehogs, Amur hedgehogs, Noth African hedgehogs, Somali hedgehogs, and more. They are spiny mammals, and their spiny protection resembles that of porcupines. Porcupines are technically rodents and it is also a type of monotreme, echidnas. There are seventeen species of hedgehogs and they are widespread throughout the continents of Europe, Africa, Asia.

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They are also found commonly in parts of New Zealand. Surprisingly, hedgehogs are not commonly found in America or Australia, as they are not native to these continents. Although research says that, the genus of Amphechinus was present in North America once. Hedgehogs also share ancestry with the family of Soricidae, which are the shrews.

They belong to the kingdom of Animalia, the phylum of Chordata, the class of Mammalia, the order of Eulipotyphla, the Family of Erinaceidae, and the subfamily of Erinaceinae. They are primarily nocturnal, but some species are also very much active during the day. Hedgehogs are omnivorous and they eat snails, frogs, toads, snakes, insects, bird eggs, mushrooms, grassroots, melons, and berries.

Their body decreases about 2 degrees when they hibernate and when they wake up, their body temperature comes back to normal, which is about 30 to 35 degrees.

Why Do Hedgehogs Live That Long?

With the appropriate care, the hedgehogs live for seven to ten years. The record of the longest living hedgehog is 16 years, which proves that like every other animal, they thrive under care. As pets, hedgehogs can live for 7 to 10 years, and in the wild and woodlands, they can live for 3 to 5 years. Every insect-eating animal will certainly live for at least three years. A young hedgehog will bond well with the owners at the age of six weeks, more than with other animals.

The diet of hedgehogs must contain an ample amount of protein and a little amount of fat. Not many pet stores sell hedgehog food, so a low-fat dry cat food formula can work very well. They should receive cooked meat, vegetables, fruits, crickets, and cooked meat. That way, they can get enough nutrients to keep themselves healthy. Hedgehogs hide when they sleep so it is better to give them a hiding place in their cages.

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Conclusion

Always keep them in a room that has enough clean water and stays within 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Hedgehogs, just like other animals, can die due to various reasons. They can die due to the destruction of habitat, predators, and even old age. Hedgehogs do not survive colder climates much as they survive warm and hot climates.

The other factors that also influence the lifespan of hedgehogs include their genetics, the amount of exercise they get, the amount of hibernation they get and the quality of their bedding, level of stress, and quality of living. They also can die of sickness, diseases, natural breeding risks and it can also be personalized based on their anatomy.

Hence, taking care of them with the proper diet and proper shelter can really help them live long without any sort of complications.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0195561694500068
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9781416001195500196

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