The desert hedgehog (Paraechinus aethiopicus) is a species of mammal in the family Erinaceidae. One of the smallest of hedgehogs, the desert hedgehog is 5.5 to 11 inches (140 to 280 mm) long and weighs about 10 to 18 ounces (280 to 510 g). The spines on its back can be banded with coloring similar to the four-toed hedgehog. It is usually identified by its dark muzzle. If desert hedgehogs are threatened, their muscles contract and pull the outer layer of skin around the body, making their spikes stick out in all directions. The spines tend to be longer than other hedgehogs for better protection against predation. As such it almost impossible to catch one.
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