When we think about hedgehogs, small ears and sharp quills come to mind. People may think that hedgehogs are unusual pets when compared to cats and dogs.
Nevertheless, in recent years there has been an upward trend in hedgehogs being housed as pets. Despite not being native to certain places, hedgehogs are still being kept as pets. But are they native to America?
Hedgehogs are not native to America. This means that they do not naturally occur there.
Due to increased demand for pet hedgehogs, they are domesticated to be sold as pets. All seventeen species are not native to America. As hedgehogs do not naturally occur in America, they are illegal in some states. When animals that are not native to a country are let into the wild, they can cause problems and threaten society.
Why Are There No Hedgehogs in America?
You will not find any wild hedgehogs in America as they are not native there. Whether you look for a hedgehog in South America or North America, you will not find one. There are, however, African pygmies that are domesticated and make popular pets.
There are fossils of hedgehogs found in North America from millions of years ago. Hedgehogs probably went extinct in this part of the world.
Where Are Hedgehogs from Originally?
Hedgehogs can be found in various regions around the world. These spined mammals are native to Africa, Europe, Middle East, and Central Asia. There are over 17 different species of hedgehogs all over the world.
Each of these species has evolved differently, adopting traits from their surroundings and habitats. Hedgehogs can be domesticated to be kept as pets, such as the African pygmy. In the wild, hedgehogs can be found in many parts of the world.
What Are Hedgehogs Like in Other Regions of the World?
Hedgehogs from over the world have certain adaptations that separate them from each other. These animals have adapted to their habitats.
Hedgehogs in Europe
You will find hedgehogs in Europe, mainly in meadows, grasslands, and woodlands. Hedgehogs in Europe are not found far out in the wild. Instead, these hedgehogs prefer to stay close to humans near the border.
When the weather gets cold in Europe, the hedgehogs conserve their energy by hibernating. You can also find hedgehogs in some of the southern regions and the semi-desert areas where there are few predators.
Hedgehogs in Africa
Since the climate in Africa is dry and arid, hedgehogs there will have the necessary adaptations to survive. Hedgehogs in Africa are mainly found in grasslands, woodlands, and rocky areas. The hedgehogs make use of the rocky landscape to camouflage and hide from potential predators.
There are plenty of insects available in the wild for hedgehogs to munch on. Moreover, a warm climate is suitable for the hedgehog’s survival.
Hedgehogs in Africa may not hibernate as much due to the warmth. The landscape provides a large surface area for the hedgehogs to dig and get a lot of exercise in the wild.
Hedgehogs in Asia
Hedgehogs in Asia can be mainly found in Central Asia and some parts of the Middle East. The most common species of hedgehog found is the long-eared hedgehog. Unlike the African hedgehogs, Asian hedgehogs prefer grasslands as opposed to the mountainous terrain.
Hedgehogs in Australia
Hedgehogs are not native to both Australia and America. Since they do not naturally occur here, they are also illegal in some states and completely illegal in Australia. When introduced to the wild, hedgehogs may become pests in places where they do not naturally occur.
Hedgehogs in America are domesticated to be kept as pets, with the most common species being the African pygmy.
How Have Hedgehogs Been Used in History?
Hedgehogs were used in various ways and were known for their benefits:
Hedgehogs were popular for their medicinal qualities. Dried hedgehog skin was used in tea which helped in Colic. Moreover, the dried skin was also thought to help battle hair loss. Hedgehogs were also thought to be a cure for leprosy.
Hedgehogs were thought to be delicious meals in medieval times. These mammals were roasted and served at the table. Particularly, the Egyptians enjoyed having hedgehogs as their meal.
The quills that hedgehogs use to scare off predators were used in the industry to comb through the wool. This is one reason why hedgehogs were bred and traded. Soon, they became popular enough to be domesticated and kept as pets.
When Were Hedgehogs Domesticated?
The Romans first made use of hedgehogs by using them for meat. They also kept the sharp quills and used them for various purposes. The quills were used to clean woollen shawls. As hedgehogs proved useful, they became a reason for breeding and trading.
Soon, the domestication of hedgehogs became widespread. This resulted in a lot of people adopting hedgehogs as pets. However, some states of America made pet hedgehogs illegal. Hedgehogs are now bred and found in different colours too.
The most popular hedgehog breed kept as pets are the African pygmy.
So, are hedgehogs native to America? Hedgehogs make popular pets in America. However, these small mammals are not native to either North or South America. This is because they do not naturally occur there.
Moreover, hedgehogs are illegal to be kept as pets in some states of America such as California. When hedgehogs are released into the wild where they do not naturally occur, they can become pests and dangerous.
These mammals are naturally found in Asia, Africa, Middle East, and Europe. Hedgehogs belonging to different places will have different adaptations according to their habitat.
In Australia, hedgehogs are completely banned. You can get African pygmies to keep as pets in some states of America. In history, hedgehogs have been domesticated and kept as they were thought to give benefits.
Hedgehogs were widely used in medicine, the clothing industry, and food.
The Romans were the first to use hedgehogs and domesticate them, which led to them becoming popular pets. Hedgehogs are now bred and available in many breeds and colours, the most popular being the African pygmy.