The fossil record of the genus Hystrix is rather scarce, and little is known about its origin. Its presence in Crevillente 2, a well-dated Lower Turolian (MN11) Spanish locality, is an important fact because, from a stratigraphic point of view, it is one of the oldest references of this genus. The comparative study of the remains from Crevillente 2 reveals the presence of a small species, Hystrix suevica, which lived in Europe from Middle Aragonian to Early Turolian time. In most recent revisions of the genus Hystrix, this species has not been taken into account. H. suevica shows undeniable morphological affinities with H. primigenia. The latter was a large-sized Hystrix, which spread over Europe from Middle Turolian to Late Pliocene time, reaching Africa at the end of the Turolian. The geographic distribution patterns of the family Hystricidae allow to relate its regression in Europe with the progressive climatic cooling, which started c. 2.5 Ma ago.