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Interesting facts about hedgehogs

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We found 24 interesting facts about hedgehogs

An insectivorous mammal from the hedgehog family.

They are related to moles, shrews and almicus.

They live in Europe, Asia, Africa and New Zealand, where they were introduced. They are not currently found naturally in the Americas.

Hedgehogs appeared during the Oligocene era, about 30 million years ago. They are sociable animals that easily bond with humans and are natural allies of foresters and gardeners.

1

There are two species of hedgehogs in Poland that are considered separate species: the western hedgehog, also known as the European hedgehog, and the eastern hedgehog.

The eastern hedgehog has a large white spot on its chest.

On the left you can see a representative of the western hedgehog, and on the right - an eastern hedgehog.
2

They live in Europe, Asia, Africa.

They are not found naturally in Australia or on any of the American continents. People brought them to New Zealand.

W North America a species of hedgehogs that lived in the Miocene (23,03 - 5,3 million years ago). Amfequinhowever, it became extinct.

Depending on the type of hedgehog they live in forests, grass and deserts.

3

Hedgehogs are relatively large insectivores, their body weight is 400-1900 g.

Their body is about 40 cm long, including the tail, stocky and strong.

The flat wedge-shaped head ends in an elongated muzzle.

The hedgehog's eyes are small and black.

4

The back and sides of the hedgehog's body are covered with spines, which are transformed keratin hairs.

The hedgehog's spines are firmly embedded in its body. They are not poisonous and not particularly hot.

5

When a hedgehog gets scared, it rolls into a ball bristling with thorns and makes characteristic gasping sounds.

This is a defensive technique that works well against most predators. Hedgehogs living in desert areas are at a disadvantage because high temperatures mean they have fewer spines. Desert urchins would rather run away from danger than curl up into a ball.

Ethiopian sand lizard (Paraechinus ethiopicus), inhabiting northern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, does not have a lush, prickly mane. Therefore, he is often forced to run away from danger and hide in cover. Chen Ein-Dor / CC BY-SA 4.0

Hedgehogs have developed one very useful feature that compensates (especially for the less prickly ones) for the lack of thick fur. They are resistant to snake venom. and can survive the bite of many species.

6

Hedgehogs are defenseless against badgers, which, thanks to their long and strong claws, are not cut by needles.

Typically, in areas where badgers live, the hedgehog population is very small.

7

The most dangerous place for hedgehogs is roads with vehicular traffic.

The nocturnal wanderings of hedgehogs, especially during the mating season, end tragically. In Poland Every year, about 40 hedgehogs die under the wheels of cars.

8

They are omnivores. They eat other animals, fruits, mushrooms and even carrion.

However, animal food is the basis of nutrition for these mammals. They feed mainly on earthworms, which are easy prey for them. However, they enrich their menu with insects, snails, bird eggs, chicks, small mammals and amphibians. They are very valuable in controlling crop pest populations.

Apparently they like dry cat food too.

9

Contrary to popular superstitions and numerous fairy tales, hedgehogs do not eat apples.

A Roman historian is responsible for creating this myth. Pliny the Elder living from 23 to 79, who is in his work"Natural historyhe claimed to be a hedgehog they stock up on apples for the winter.

Even for farmed hedgehogs, it is not recommended to give them this fruit. If we want to feed a hedgehog an apple, we must cut it into small cubes and remove the seeds.

10

From the 50s to the 80s, the hedgehog was an unofficial symbol of NATO.

Many countries have treated it as a symbol of union due to the fact that it is a peaceful animal, which, however, can bristle and stand up for itself.

11

In temperate climates, hedgehogs hibernate.

During the cold season, they often burrow into piles of fallen leaves or compost to sleep. They wake up in the spring, when the ambient temperature is about 15 degrees C.
12

Hedgehogs are terrestrial and nocturnal.

They sleep most of the day hidden in bushes, bushes, under stones or in holes dug by them. In exceptional cases, they may leave their shelters during the day. after the rain.

13

They can climb and swim.

Swimming is very thorns help themthey have air chambers. Thanks to them, hedgehogs have much better buoyancy and easily float on the surface of the water.

Not all species are excellent swimmers, but four of them have the greatest swimming talent. This:

  • European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus),
  • white-bellied afro hedgehog (Atelerix albiventris),
  • Indian long-eared hedgehog (Collar of hemichinus),
  • long-eared steppes (Aurit Gemekhi)

14

The ancient Persians considered hedgehogs to be sacred animals.

They believed it was a deity Ahura Mazda created these animals as messengers of truth and light. They were valued because they eat pests that destroy crops.

15

Pregnancy in hedgehogs lasts from 40-58 days. Females give birth to 1-2 litters per year, the litter usually consists of 3-4 cubs.

Young hedgehogs are covered with sparse white soft spines. They are born blind and open their eyes only after 3 weeks of life. Their mother feeds them with milk for 6-8 weeks, during which time they grow normal spines.
16

The average lifespan of hedgehogs is three and a half years.

Their mortality is often caused by predators. Natural enemies of hedgehogs are badgers, dogs and owls. The upper age limit for the western hedgehog is considered to be nine years However, sometimes you can find really old specimens.

Dr. Sophie Lund Rasmussen from the University of Southern Denmark During her research, she dissected seven hundred hedgehogs. Analysis of the jaw of one of the individuals showed that: he may have been sixteen years old, the other specimen was probably thirteen years old.

17

Depending on the species, hedgehogs can have from three to five thousand spines.

18

Hedgehogs have very good hearing, smell and taste.

If a hedgehog smells or eats something unpleasant or irritating, it immediately spits a white foam of saliva onto its back.
19

Hedgehogs can travel several kilometers in search of food.

20

In very unfavorable dangerous situations, hedgehogs can scream very loudly.

Hedgehogs make a lot of sounds: when trotting in search of food, they make a hoarse sound, grunt, and cough. When they are nervous, they snort, snort and even growl loudly.
21

Hedgehogs can have up to 44 teeth.

They usually develop a full set of teeth by the third week of life. Hedgehogs do not have baby teeth, so they need to be careful about their oral hygiene. Once a tooth is lost, it will never grow back.

22

There are 17 species of hedgehogs in the world.

They are divided into five types: hedgehogs (Erinakey), sand urchins (Paraekhin), Chinoezhe (Mesechinus), afro hedgehogs (Atelerix) Stepiezhe (hemichinus).

23

The European hedgehog is a partially protected species.

24

November 10 is Hedgehog Day.

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