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Hedgehog Body Language

Communicate better by learning to read hedgehog body language.

By Audrey Pavia

hedgehog
Isabelle Francais/BowTie Inc.
Hedgehogs communicate using body language. Take note of your hedgehog's normal behavior to spot abnormal signs.

Hedgehogs communicate in part using body language. You can tell a lot about how your hedgehog is feeling if you watch its behavior.

Anointing
Anointing is one of the most interesting hedgehog behaviors. When hedgehogs anoint themselves, they cover their quills with saliva. Some scientists believe this behavior is meant to make the hedgehog’s quills more irritating to predators. Hedgehogs only perform this behavior when they feel they are in a safe place, and become very absorbed in the task. Sit back and enjoy your small pet as you watch it anoint itself.

Quill Displays
Another behavior hedgehogs exhibit is rolling up in a ball. When a hedgehog is scared, it protects its delicate underside by curling up so only the quills are exposed. If you see your hedgehog roll into a ball, try to figure out what is scaring it (often the presence of a dog or cat, or a stranger) and remove your small pet from the situation.

Hedgehogs sometimes make the quills on their foreheads stand up when they are worried about something. Take notice of this behavior and reassure your small pet by talking gently to it and removing whatever may be worrying it.

Hedgehogs can also show fear or disapproval by making the quills all over their body stick straight up. If you see your hedgehog display this behavior, remove it from whatever troubling situation it’s found itself in.

If you see your hedgehog’s spines laying flat, your small pet is relaxed and content.


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Reader Comments
interesting, thanks
Lisa, Rochester, NY
Posted: 7/5/2011 5:19:36 PM
mmm
sal, la, CA
Posted: 5/28/2009 1:35:25 PM
Great article!
L, C, OH
Posted: 5/26/2009 5:24:11 AM
I didn't know that they were so complex!!
Diana, Chicago, IL
Posted: 5/21/2009 8:22:30 AM
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