The African pygmy hedgehog (Atelerix albiventris) is sometimes also referred to as the four-toed hedgehog. This African native prefers the arid, desert conditions found in southern Africa, but is a common species in the pet trade despite its natural preference for the desert biome. These small hedgehogs average just more than 21 ounces in weight and about 7 to 9 inches long when fully relaxed. Their life span can depend on a number of factors and varies greatly in captivity and the wild.
The small, oval African pygmy hedgehogs can live approximately a decade in captivity, although their lives are often much shorter, lasting only four to six years. In the wild, their relatively short lives are often dabbled with multiple matings -- these small guys will breed once or twice per year given the proper climatic conditions.
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With a professional background in gardening, landscapes, pests and natural ecosystems, Jasey Kelly has been sharing her knowledge through writing since 2009 and has served as an expert writer in these fields. Kelly's background also includes childcare, and animal rescue and care.