Blogging Thru the Alphabet – Animals – H is for Hedgehog

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I’m joining in the Blogging Through the Alphabet series with Through the Calm and Through the Storm as well as Adventures with Jude. I will be having animals as my theme.

Here are my past posts in case you missed them:

A for Aardvark    B for Badger    C for Capybara    D for Dodo    E for Eagles  F for Falcons

G if for Giraffe

Today we will discuss the hedgehog – and I’m thinking it will be completely different than “Sonic the Hedgehog”. *grin* So let’s start with the fact that baby hedgehogs are ABSOLUTELY ADORABLE!!!

Hedgehog

Photo courtesy of African Wildlife Foundation

Ok, now moving on to some facts…

Scientific Name: Erinaceus europaeus

Hedgehogs were named after their foraging methods of looking through hedges and other undergrowth for their main food sources: insects, worms, centipedes, snails, mice, frogs, and snakes. As it searches it makes pig-like grunts – hence the name hedgehog! Their eyesight is weak so they depend on their hearing and smelling while hunting. They tend to be nocturnal (which means they sleep during the day and awake and eat during the night).

There are 15 different species of hedgehogs and they are found in Asia, Africa and Europe. They have also now been introduced in places like New Zealand.

In general, their size is 13 – 30 cm and weigh 14 -39 oz so pretty small! Here is an idea of their size:

Hedgehog Teacup

Photo courtesy of National Geographic

Hedgehogs have a coat of stiff, prickly spines that are used for their protection. If they feel threatened they will curl up in to a ball using their coat to keep others away. They also sleep like this. They have about 5,000 spines each lasting about one year at which time it falls out and a new one replaces it. The spines are hollow and springy with a flexible neck and they are erected by muscles.  At the base there is a smooth ball which bends on impact.

There is a specific “hedgehog flea” they have which rarely bites humans. They often have up to 500 fleas on them. (Ok, sorry, but now they aren’t so cute. ICK!)

Hedgehogs hibernate in cold climates. In deserts, they sleep through heat and drought in a similar process called aestivation (a state of animal dormancy, similar to hibernation, characterized by inactivity and a lowered metabolic rate, that is entered in response to high temperatures and arid conditions). They remain active all year in more temperate locations.

They normally live alone. When mommas have babies they have anywhere from one to eleven after 32 days in the womb. The babies are born blind and stay with their mom for only four to seven weeks at which time they head out on their own.
Well, I hope you enjoyed learning about these amazing animals as much as I did! Come back next week when we cover the letter I and discuss the Ibis (bird).

Now go check out all the other posts of those who are joining in with Blogging Through the Alphabet. They can post this entire week so make sure to check back and see what has been added!

Enjoy the journey!

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4 thoughts on “Blogging Thru the Alphabet – Animals – H is for Hedgehog

  1. cristischwamb December 21, 2015 at 9:43 pm Reply

    I never knew that Hedgehogs have fleas. Ew! I know people with hedgehogs as pets. I hope there’s a way to get rid of those fleas. (Even if they’re fleas that don’t bite people, I still wouldn’t want them.)

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  2. Lynn Leaming December 22, 2015 at 12:44 am Reply

    How can something so small have 11 babies at a time? God’s creation is amazing!

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  3. Brittney December 23, 2015 at 7:44 am Reply

    I didn’t realize how small they are!

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  4. KymPossible January 15, 2016 at 10:49 am Reply

    My daughter used to desperately want one as a pet, until we finally convinced her they are not that much fun because they’re nocturnal. They ARE so incredibly cute though!

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