The smallest hedgehog breed in the world

Most people probably have at least a basic idea of what a hedgehog is — small, blue, sounds like Jaleel White. Or if you're Paramount Pictures, a film-worthy hedgehog looks like a mistake and sounds like filmmakers returning to the drawing board. But as crazy as it sounds, most hedgehogs don't spend all their time collecting power rings and thwarting plans hatched by Dr. "Eggman" Robotnik. Nor do they generally grow to be the size of Sonic the Hedgehog, who, according to Fandom's Mobius Encyclopedia, stands at about 3.3 feet (100 centimeters) tall and weighs roughly 77 pounds (35 kilograms). That's staggeringly large for a hedgehog. 

As Live Science describes, "Most hedgehogs can fit in an adult's hand." Their average measurements vary by species, but the biggest reach about 12 inches (30 centimeters) in length and weigh around 3.5 pounds (about 1.6 kilograms). Some hedgehogs are so small that Sonic could probably crush one while running at the speed of sound without even noticing his tragic misstep. Which breed is the smallest? 

This tiny hedgehog makes a big impression

The African pygmy hedgehog is the smallest of all the world's hedgehog species, per The Spruce Pets. Adults typically max out at 5 to 8 inches (12.7 to 20.3 centimeters) long and tip the scales at 0.5 to 1.5 pounds (0.2 to 0.7 kilograms). Though described as "a lovable pet," this delightful little animal might not love you. The pygmy hedgehog probably doesn't care about being your pet and doesn't care to be petted. It needs time to become accustomed to your comparatively gigantic hands and will instinctively curl into a spiky ball for protection from your affection. They not only need their space; they need a lot of space to roam because they're full of energy.

Pygmy hedgehogs are nocturnal, so if you're a night owl, these hedgehogs will likely be terrified of you because large owls eat hedgehogs, and this breed is bite-sized. They also won't respond well if you smell weird. Like other hedgehogs, the pygmy variety engages in a "self-anointing" behavior when something fails the smell test. The animal will go into "a flurry of contortions" and then slather saliva on its own back for reasons experts have yet to explain. Maybe it's a self-soothing or self-protection mechanism. Or maybe your pet just thinks you stink.