A new specie of fossil hedgehog has been found in British Colombia, Canada. This 52 million year old relative of the modern hedgehog was tiny. With a reconstructed body length of 5 - 6.5 cm, Silvacola acares was about the size of small modern shrews. This tiny hedgehog would have inhabited a forest quite unlike anything on Earth today. Palms grew alongside spruces suggesting the climate was close to being tropical (at 54 degrees north!) . With a favourable climate, it is unlikely that this tiny hedgehog would have ever had to hibernate. With warm temperatures insect prey would have been available all year round.
Paleontologists have discovered fossil remains of two previously unknown mammals that lived in what is now British Columbia in Canada during the early Eocene, about 52 million years ago – a tiny hedgehog species named Silvacola acares and a tapir-type herbivore of the genus Heptodon.