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:
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!!!
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:
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.
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!