While some pet owners prefer traditional house companions such as dogs or cats, others prefer the company of exotic species. One of the most popular exotic pets of the decade is the hedgehog, whose prickly exterior and spunky personality charms thousands of animal lovers world wide.
Globally, there are 17 unique species of hedgehog, native to parts of Europe, Asia and Africa. The most common species to domesticate is the African pygmy hedgehog, also known as the white-bellied hedgehog, who were first kept as pets during the Roman Empire. Ancient Romans used hedgehog skins to clean their clothing, as well as their quills to train other animals.
Modern domestication of hedgehogs didn't come to be until the 1980s and breeding introduction new color variations such as albino and pinto. Over decades of domestication, hedgehog owners learned to appreciate the unique quirks of the animal and they've become a great option for people with pet dander allergies or those who live in small apartments.
Despite becoming increasingly more common in the pet industry, there are still many big misconceptions and myths about hedgehogs. First off, many believe them to be related to porcupines, however, porcupines are in the rodent family and hedgehogs are not, they're instead related to shrews. Second, hedgehogs don't puff out their quills in aggression, instead they do so when they're scared or nervous. Lastly, hedgehogs are opportunistic when it comes to food and in nature have been known to eat small snakes, lizards, bird eggs and various types of carrion (dead animals).
So whether you're a proud hedgehog owner or love anything small and squishy, we're sure you'll appreciate these 15 adorable hedgehog tattoos for National Hedgehog Day. Take a peek at the adorably pygmy's in the gallery below and let us know your thoughts on these tattoos on social media.