Microscope research

Microscopic examination allows us to study the structure and pigment of pens. and specifically how they differ by species. With this new knowledge, we can gain a deeper understanding of the differences between the types of hedgehogs and tenrecs. This can make identification easier when rescued animals are found, but we can also gain more knowledge about the functionality of the spines, hairs and semi-hairs.

Published documents

Published papers on this research are published on Academia.edu and may also be included in books or other forms of publication. Continue reading below to view these publications.

How do we collect spines and hairs?

We usually collect pens and hair from hedgehogs and tenrecs from pet owners and breeders, but sometimes through shelters and rescue services. Hedgehogs, in particular, continuously shed spines and hair throughout their lives. They can be easily collected by looking through their bedding or nests, without disturbing or hurting the animal. For tenrecs, this is a little different, as they don't lose as much hair and their spines stay on their skin almost permanently. In these cases it just takes a little longer for them to lose a few hairs and the spines are often collected from recently deceased animals.


Atelerix albiventris (African pygmy hedgehog)

Atelerix algirus (North African hedgehog)

Atelerix frontalis (South African hedgehog)

Echinops telfairi (Lesser hedgehog tenrec)

Erinaceus europaeus (European hedgehog)

Erinaceus roumanicus (Northern white-breasted hedgehog)

Hemiechinus auritus (Long-eared hedgehog)

Paraechinus aethiopicus (Desert hedgehog)

Setifer setosus (Greater hedgehog tenrec)

Tenrec ecaudatus (Common tenrec)