From the Romans who viewed the hedgehog as a weather prophet to modern gardeners who depend on the creature to keep gardens pest-free, the small, spiny animal has had a close connection with humans since the dawn of civilization. A creature of fascination, endearment, and cultural significance, it is one of the few wild animals that people can approach without the fear of attack or it running away. Exploring how this and other characteristics of the hedgehog have propelled it to become one of people’s favorite animals, this book examines the natural and cultural history of these symbolic creatures.
Following the hedgehog as it spreads through Europe and Asia to the foot of Africa, Hugh Warwick describes its evolution, behavior, habitat, and diet, as well as its current endangered status. He also looks at the animal’s appeal, accessibility, and status as a pet in many countries, considering its appearance in advertising, films, children’s books, and games. Casting new light on the ancestors of Sonic and Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle, Hedgehog is a fascinating look at these prickly, admirable animals.