It remains unclear why it has so many toes. The oddest part is there is no predicting how many toes will be on each foot. Typically the low end is three toes and the higher is twenty. Sometimes when you get a lot of toes on one or more feet the hedgehog will not have its full complement of four legs. There are reports of one-legged, thirty-toed hedgehogs in the wild but none have been officially documented.
Greater Potato Hedgehog
Most hedgehogs are nocturnal because their predators are more active during the day and it’s just more of a party at night. The GPH takes it further and is only active on moonless nights. You may spot one the night of a new moon or on stormy nights when clouds obscure any light. As a result, on the rare occasions that this hedgehog is seen it’s often no more than a quick glimpse. Little is known about it.
Smells like ammonia. Keep it away from bleach. Might actually be a moonrat as they are closely related to hedgehogs.
Lesser Plum Hedgehog
All hedgehogs have thousands of spikes or quills that help protect them from predators (they do not shoot them, so end that rumor). The LPH is rather more concerned with not unintentionally harming someone than defending itself. Because of this, it spends a great deal of time covering its spikes with softer things. You may see one shuffle by covered in acorns, bits of styrofoam or whatever else it finds. They do prefer to load up on snacks when they can and are especially fond of spiking plums for later.
Common Garden Hedgehog
Found in many gardens, they are often invited in by the garden owners who know they will eat pests that plague their plants. The way to attract and keep these hedgehogs in a garden is to find a garden gnome to their liking. There’s no predicting what your hedgehogs will find attractive (we’re all unique) so you may have to try a wide variety. May your garden be full of gnomes, hedgehogs and healthy plants!
Button Nose Hedgehog
Their name does not come from the shape of their nose, rather from the odd habit of sewing buttons onto their quills. Their finest button they loop about their nose. They are typically subtle thieves. One day you’ll find a button missing from your garment and write it off as shoddy craftsmanship. If they really fall for your style they may well strip your whole jacket.
Many hedgehogs use hibernation to survive periods when foods are scarcer. This hedgehog seems to simply prefer to sleep and, much like cicadas, may do so for years at a time. The difference is there is no predicting when it will wake. It may live its whole life asleep. If you come across one in your dreams let it be. Hopefully it will do the same. If not, wake up!
Glass Belly Hedgehog
So called because its underbelly is entirely see-through. That is not at all the truly strange thing about this hedgehog, there are other examples of see-through skin in the animal kingdom. No, the truly peculiar thing is what you see inside the belly. Interestingly – very interestingly – this might be too interesting – I gave warning – no, I can’t. I mustn’t. This is something you need be ready for. It’s mystic knowledge in some ways. A teacher must decide when you are ready. However, if you would do one thing for me, knowing what I know, what I’ve seen – please rub your belly. It’s earned it.
Illustration by DALL-E.