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New Discovery Reveals Hedgehogs Without Spikes

hedgehogs without spikes
Image by Charoenchai Tothaisong, CC BY-NC 4.0 DEED

When you think of a hedgehog the first thing that comes to mind is their spikes, right?

What if I told you there are hedgehogs that lack this distinctive feature – this recent discovery of hedgehogs without spikes has been a massive surprise to everyone.

The New Soft-Furred Hedgehogs

hedgehogs without spikes
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Recent studies have unveiled the existence of five new species of hedgehogs in Southeast Asia. These stand out from others in their family because instead of sharp spikes, they only have soft fur covering their backs.

This discovery also has scientists from around the world scratching their heads. It’s still a mystery how the evolutionary pathways led to such distinct features within the same family.

These creatures, discovered in remote areas, challenge the traditional image of hedgehogs and highlight the incredible diversity of life that remains hidden in the world’s less explored regions.

Pros and Cons of Having Spikes

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Spikes serve as a hedgehog’s primary defense mechanism against predators, deterring attacks through their intimidating texture. However, this evolutionary adaptation is not without its drawbacks.

The energy required to grow and maintain these spines could be redirected towards other survival strategies in spike-less hedgehogs, such as improved camouflage or agility. Additionally, the absence of spikes may facilitate easier movement through dense underbrush, offering a different set of survival advantages.

Are “Normal” Hedgehogs Born With Spikes?

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Contrary to popular belief, hedgehogs are not born with spikes. Instead, they are born with a protective layer of skin covering their spines, which falls off within a few hours to days, revealing the soft spines beneath.

These spines harden as the hedgehog matures, eventually forming the protective barrier we are familiar with.

Hedgehog Vs. Porcupine

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While both hedgehogs and porcupines are often lumped together due to their spiky appearances, they belong to entirely different families and have distinct behavioral and physical characteristics. Porcupines have much longer quills that can detach when threatened. Hedgehog spikes, on the other hand, are shorter, remain attached, and are used more for deterrence than active defense.

Can You Keep Hedgehogs as Pets?

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Hedgehogs have gained popularity as pets in various parts of the world, appreciated for their unique appearance and relatively low maintenance. However, potential owners should be aware of their specific needs, such as temperature regulation and dietary requirements, to ensure a healthy and happy pet.

Furthermore, the legality of owning a hedgehog varies by location, so it’s essential to research local laws before bringing one into your home.

Hedgehog Behaviors

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Hedgehogs are primarily nocturnal, spending the day hidden under bushes, rocks, or burrows to avoid predators and the heat of the day. They are solitary creatures, coming together only to mate. Their diet primarily consists of insects, making them beneficial for natural pest control.

The Role of Habitat in Evolution

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The discovery of soft-furred hedgehogs underscores the role of habitat in the evolutionary process.

The dense forests and underbrush of Southeast Asia, where these hedgehogs were found, likely influenced the evolution of a fur-based defense mechanism as opposed to spikes, which may be more cumbersome in such environments.

Recently Discovered But Might Disappear Soon

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With the discovery of new species comes the responsibility to ensure their survival. The soft-furred hedgehogs, like many newly discovered animals, may already be at risk due to habitat destruction and climate change. Conservation efforts must prioritize the protection of these unique species and their habitats to prevent their premature extinction.

Hedgehogs Without Spikes: Conclusion

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In conclusion, the discovery of soft-furred hedgehogs without spikes is just one example of the endless wonders present in the nature around us. It’s too often we forget that there’s so much we still don’t know about the planet we inhabit and her creatures.

Thank you for reading this article about this incredible and unusual discovery of hedgehogs without spikes! Uncover more recent discoveries with us:

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