There are seventeen species of hedgehog in five genera found through parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa, and in New Zealand by introduction.
Hedgehogs have a coat of stiff, sharp spines- hollow hairs made stiff with keratin. The spines cover the body except for the underside, legs, face, and ears. If attacked they will curl into a prickly and unappetizing ball that deters most predators
The underside is covered by a sparse, coarse coat, ranging from white to black
Most species weigh under 700 grams (1.5 pounds)
They are capable of short bursts of speed, raising their body high off the ground as they run on the hairless soles of their feet.
Hedgehogs are fairly vocal and communicate through a combination of grunts, snuffles and/or squeals, depending on species.
The bulk of their diet consists of insects, worms, centipedes, snails, mice, frogs, and snakes
Hedgehog shelter by day beneath vegetation, in rock crevices, beneath overhanging rock ledges, or in burrows
Some species, including the West European hedgehog, hibernate during the winter months