The microscopic examination is a much more valuable study with a high coverage. In this research we collect hairs and quills from hedgehogs and tenrecs of different species in a way that does not harm them. Since hedgehogs and tenrecs shed their hairs and quills throughout their lives, all of our material has been collected by owners and breeders of these species from their homes and donated to this study. This is also our first study not specifically targeting African pygmy hedgehogs, but all types of hedgehogs and tenrec species that are kept as pets.
What are we researching
Through this research we investigate the differences in structure and pigmentation in quills and hairs between different species. This can help determine color mutations and also tell us which colors may be weaker as they may have a different structure. It also teaches us about their ability to withstand high pressure, using their quills as their main defense system. In tenrecs it can tell us more about how they use their quillss as they lack the dorsal muscles that hedgehogs use for their defense. Since both species families are totally unrelated to each other, but so similar in multiple perspectives, it can tell us the exact differences and similarities.
What can you do
If you have quills or hairs from a hedgehog or tenrec that has naturally fallen out, please contact us to see if we can use it for our research. We will then instruct you what the requirements are to be able to send the samples to us.