The Mallorcan hedgehog (the unofficial descendant of the North African hedgehog) is a mammal whose entire body, with the exception of its underbelly, is covered with spines measuring 1 millimetres thick by 2 to 2.5 centimetres long. It can weigh as much as 1,100 grams and grow to between 22 and 29 centimetres in length.
These animals have no neck, and on their heads, they have very small dark eyes, short rounded ears and a pointed nose. They have short little paws with five digits and strong claws. Their tails are also short.
Male hedgehogs are larger than their female counterparts, and the colour of their underbelly can vary between a darkish and a yellowish brown colour, while female hedgehogs’ abdomens tend to be a greyish colour.
Relative to the European hedgehog they are smaller in size and lighter in colour. They have larger ears and a more prominent forehead, and have a separating band between the hair and spines. The European hedgehog does not have the same “stripe” across its forehead and has dark stains on its face.
This animal prefers woodland, areas of low mountains, shrubs, hedges, scrub, cultivated land and, in general, warmer and humid areas.
Eating and other habits
It hunts and eats insects, larvae, centipedes, snails, slugs, earthworms and sometimes even goes for frogs, rats, lizards, snakes and vipers. This diet is supplemented with bird eggs and chicks that nest in the ground, acorns and other fruits.
It is most active during the night, and can be seen from dusk through until dawn.
It has a highly developed sense of smell, walks a lot and can swim very well. Hedgehogs can live for as many as 7 to 10 years, although many are ran over by cars.