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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 10-23-2011, 10:06 AM Thread Starter
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Anointing Behavior

I own two african pigmy hedgehogs. I am currently a collage student taking a animal behavior class, my focus for the class is to try to understand the hedgehog behavior of anointing with in the species. I have some questions that i would like to receive feedback on;
1)From observation which sex does this behavior take place in, males or females?
2)Does the behavior happen when the hedgehog is introduced to something new if so what would that be?
3)Is the item that the hedgehog anointing to something edible or non edible?
4)If the substance is edible does the hedgehog consume it or only taste it then anoints?
5)Is there any other information you may tell me about the behavior of anointing?
thank you
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 10-23-2011, 05:00 PM
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I have only had females but I believe annointing occurs in both sexes.

They might annoint when coming across something new and smelly. It could smell good or bad to them, doesn't really matter. In fact, my hog anoints even after she is familiar with the scent (by boyfriend's B.O.) but since she loves it so much she anoints every time.

They do not have to consume an object to anoint to it.. and honestly the behavior of anointing is not very well understood.

SOme think they anoint because they want the smell of the object to cover their own body so that they can "fit in" with the environment. Others think anointing takes place when the hog comes across something toxic. Still some believe it is something irresistibly yummy and thus they foam at the mouth.

When my hedgehog anoints, it is very interesting to see how far she twists her body in order to get to the patch of quills she wishes to moisten. Sometimes she wants to get the quills on the top of her head so she sort of retracts her head into her body (like a turtle) to get there. Other times she wants to anoint far on her back and she really twists around.. makes me wonder if they are able to contort their organs to accommodate this movement.

Hope I could be of some help, but just remember, the behavior of anointing is not 100% understood or agreed upon.

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