The East African pygmy hedgehog is a small nocturnal mammal with 1-inch spines covering its back. When threatened, it rolls into a ball and presents its spines in defense. Unlike porcupines, the hedgehog does not release its spines.
The hedgehog's sense of sight and hearing are very good and it also has an excellent sense of smell. Its long snout sniffs out food buried up to two inches below ground. The hedgehog tends to lead a solitary life except for mothers with young.