Hedgehog

Courtney Ewers Period 3 5/16/16

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Habitat

Mainly hedgehogs live in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Where it is usually a warmer climate. Other hedgehogs called the desert hedgehog live in deserts. Such as the Middle East and North Africa, in more drier settings.

One's that live in places such as Europe, Asia, and Africa, can live in hedgerows, woodlands and meadows. This type of hedgehog prefers this setting because it gives shelter and an easy food source. Some hedgehogs can even be attracted to food like, worms, usually found in sub-urban gardens!

Unlike desert hedgehogs who are found in more dry areas. Since the desert doesn't get much rain, the hedgehogs prefer more coastal areas that feature ample plants. So then, there's a water system that is easy to get to.


Hedgehogs live solitary, or alone, without being in groups. Although, occasionally, a hedgehogs territory may overlap another's. But for the most part hedgehogs only live by themselves.

Movement

Hedgehogs have four feet, with four toes on the back and five toes on the front.

They have very small and skinny feet, unlike the body which is usually much bigger.

Hedgehogs can mostly run pretty fast. Unless of it has a syndrome, that only African hedgehogs have. This syndrome is called the Wobbly hedgehog syndrome. It is a syndrome that effects how the hedgehog moves. Unfortunately many hedgehogs can die from this each year.

Body Covering

Unlike many other animals, hedgehogs have prickly spines made out of Keratin. Keratin

is a structural protein, which is a type of protein that forms the structural elements of organisms. Structural proteins are tough, fibrous substances that can form strong tissue(UXL Encyclopedia of Science 1). By having Keratin hedgehogs can protect themselves from enemies, by rolling up into ball when scared or frightened. This way, no animal can pry open the hedgehog when defending itself.

Colors of the hedgehogs spines can differ. Some are albino (white), and others can be African pygmy (brown). Some even can be a variety of albino and African pygmy.

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Diet

Since hedgehogs mainly live in the wild, they don't have a very big variety on what they eat. Most things like insects and eggs are a normal diet for them. Sometimes snails can even be a regular diet for them too. Almost anything they find in the wild is called food to them. Like, leaves, flowers, and other plants.


Again, hedgehogs don't have much of a variety on what hey want to eat or drink. So, for drinking, they mainly drink water.


Hedgehogs are omnivores. Which means that they eat a diet containing plants, animals, algae and fungi.


A hedgehogs diet does not change while growing and developing.

Hedgehog eating a asp snake
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Reproduction

Baby hedgehogs are called hoglets. They are very small and blind for the first weeks.

Hedgehog females develop their young inside of them. The gestation period can 30 to 40 days.

The range of newborns can be anywhere in a range to 3-5 babies per liter. Some can even range up to 11 per liter.

If the mother is disturbed she will eat her young. Also the father must stay away from the young, otherwise he will eat them.

Adaptations

Hedgehogs have many behavioral adaptions. One of them is a very popular one, when a hedgehog rolls up into a ball. This means it is scared and frightened. (Goertzen 36)

Another one is when a hedgehog squeals. This is when a hedgehog is in frustration. Lastly, when a hedgehog snuffles or also called "weefling" it is exploring and curious, when doing this behavior, the hedgehog wiggles it's nose to follow scents that he wants to observe


Hedgehogs do have not have many predators. Unlike how small it is, it's spines help protect the hedgehog. Only one animal, the badger, can pry open the hedgehog when it's spines are up and in a ball.

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Other Info

Works Cited

Benvie, Niall. "Hedgehog in Grass." Arkive.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 May 2016.
http://www.arkive.org/hedgehog/erinaceus-europaeus/image-A7053.


Desmette, Frederic. "Red Fox Trying to Catch a Hedgehog." Arkive.org. N.p., n.d.
Web. 15 May 2016. <http://www.arkive.org/hedgehog/erinaceus-europaeus/
image-A23108.html>.


Digital Vision/Getty Images. "Hedgehog: Curled up." SIRS Discoverer. ProQuest,
n.d. Web. 11 May 2016. <http://discoverer.prod.sirs.com/discoweb/disco/
do/picture?picurn=urn%3Asirs%3AUS%3BIMAGE%3BTHM%3B0000106535>.

Downer, Steve. "Desert Hedgehog on Sand." Arkive.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 May
2016. <http://www.arkive.org/desert-hedgehog/paraechinus-aethiopicus/
image-G111108.html>.

Heuclin, Daniel. "Hedgehog Eating Asp Snake." Akive.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 May
2016. <http://www.arkive.org/hedgehog/erinaceus-europaeus/
image-A22522.html>.


Hobson, Paul. "Hedgehog Feeding on Snail." Arkive.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 May
2016. <http://www.arkive.org/hedgehog/erinaceus-europaeus/
image-A6908.html>.


Liverini, Fabio. "Hedgehog Swimming." Arkive.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 May 2016.
<http://www.arkive.org/hedgehog/erinaceus-europaeus/image-A7054.html>.

Smith, Martin. "Hedgehog Eating Oystercatcher Eggs." Arkive.org. N.p., n.d. Web.
15 May 2016. <http://www.arkive.org/hedgehog/erinaceus-europaeus/
image-A21515.html>.


Downer, John. "Three Day Old Hedgehog." Arkive.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 May 2016.
<http://www.arkive.org/hedgehog/erinaceus-europaeus/image-A9320.html>.


Chapman, Jack. "Hedgehog Close up." Arkive.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 May 2016.
<http://www.arkive.org/hedgehog/erinaceus-europaeus/image-A23199.html>.