The Biggest Hedgehog

A stuffed Echinosorex gymnura at the Harvard Museum of Natural History. Photo by David Starner.

The Biggest Hedgehog: Greater Moonrat (Echinosorex gymnura)

You’ll know a moonrat by its smell -- they release a strong odor with high ammonia content to mark their territories and ward off predators. On the IUCN's Least Concern list, moonrats live in moist forests in Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Borneo, and Sumatra. Although occasionally kept as pets in the US and used for meat by the Penan nation in Borneo, the moonrat’s range is widespread. Moonrats are nocturnal, coming out at night from their homes under logs or roots to eat insects, worms, fruit, frogs, and fish. They typically live alone.

Mammal / Hedgehogs and gymnures


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