Zee Media Bureau
New York: Scientists have identified the fossilised remains of a two-inch-long hedgehog species, which they have called `Silvacola acares`, in an ancient lake bed in Canada.
The fossil remains of the hedgehog were discovered at a nature park called Driftwood Canyon Provincial Park in north-central British Columbia, Canada.
Silvacola, which lived 52 million years ago, is also the smallest hedgehog species known to science.
According to Jaelyn Eberle, lead author on the study and associate professor at University of Colorado Boulder in the US, the hedgehog`s scientific name means “tiny forest dweller”.
“It is quite tiny and comparable in size to some of today`s shrews,” Eberle said.
Eberle added that Silvacola may have fed on insects, plants and perhaps seeds.
Hedgehogs have become quite the rage as pets in North America in the past several years. The most common hedgehog pet today is the African pygmy hedgehog, which is up to four times the length of the diminutive Silvacola.
The study has been published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.
(With Agency Inputs)