Creatures & Critters: Hedgehog Edition

Meet Luna! Luna is our African Pygmy Hedgehog. They are native to Africa, Europe, and Asia, but not to Iowa. We got her from a breeder and she was born on October 24, 2019. A full grown hedgehog will grow to be between 6-11 inches long and weigh between 18025 ounces. A fun fact about Read More »

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How’d the Hedgehog Get Its Name?

There are 15 species of hedgehogs in the world. Each species is similar, but they each have small characteristics and habitual differences. The typical body length of a hedgehog is 5 to 12 inches long and the average length of the tail is 1-2 inches. They weigh about 1-2 pounds. The hedgehog has quite a Read More »

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Animal ambassador conservationists: Luna Leopold

luna leopold

Luna the hedgehog’s name works on multiple levels. First, luna means moon in Spanish, and since the Dickinson County Nature Center’s African pygmy hedgehog is nocturnal, a name meaning moon is quite apt. Second, like many of our animals, Luna is named after a famous conservationist — Luna Leopold. Leopold was born in 1915 in Read More »

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Accordion paper hedgehog

paper hedgehog

Hedgehogs are known for the spines, the way they protect themselves from predators. They’re spiky but adorable, and this simple paper hedgehog shows off both sides of these nocturnal animals! To make your own paper hedgehog, you’ll need: Two sheets of brown construction paper in two different shades Black marker Staples or glue Scissors Begin Read More »

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Five differences between hedgehogs and porcupines

baby hedgehog

Many people ask if the hedgehog animal ambassador at the Dickinson County Nature Center is related to a porcupine. However, hedgehogs and porcupines aren’t actually related at all. There are 17 different species of hedgehogs, and their closest relations are actually shrews and moles. There are more than two dozen species of porcupines in the Read More »

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Baby hedgehogs lose their spines

baby hedgehog

Babies lose baby teeth, and so do baby animals — including baby hedgehogs, like the nature center’s animal ambassador Luna. However, hedgehogs also lose something else as they grow — their quills! Baby hedgehogs are born with spines, but at that time their skin is swollen and covers their spines so that they do not Read More »

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How does a hedgehog roll up?

hedgehog

Pretty much every time that we pick up the hedgehog animal ambassador, she rolls into a ball. Her pointy spines stand erect, and you can’t see any other part of her. (See a video of Honey the hedgehog here.) The reason that hedgehogs do this is the same reason that turtles will pull their appendages Read More »

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The nocturnal animals of Iowa

Graphic with nocturnal animals

“Where is the hedgehog?” or “What is in the cage below the salamanders?” These are two questions we often get at the Dickinson County Nature Center, because what is in the cage below the salamanders in our lower level is an African pygmy hedgehog named Honey. And Honey is usually buried beneath one of her Read More »

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