Silhouette of a European hedgehog at sunset

Hedgehogs and moonrats

Hedgehogs and moonrats are quite primitive, and bear a certain resemblance in appearance and habits to the earliest mammals. Unlike those early mammals, they bear live young instead of laying eggs. Hedgehogs have spines, but moonrats (also known as gymnures) do not. They are all omnivores.

Scientific name: Erinaceidae

Rank: Family

Common names:



Map showing the distribution of the Hedgehogs and moonrats taxa

The shading illustrates the diversity of this group - the darker the colour the greater the number of species. Data provided by WWF's Wildfinder.

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When they lived

Discover the other animals and plants that lived during the following geological time periods.


  1. Life
  2. Animals
  3. Vertebrates
  4. Mammals
  5. Erinaceomorpha
  6. Hedgehogs and moonrats