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Hedgehogs by Mind Map: Hedgehogs
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Hedgehogs

Though hedgehogs mainly stay on the ground, they swim quite well and even climb trees. If one is up in a tree and wants to get down quickly—or falls—its spines come in handy once again. When the hedgehog hits the ground, it bounces, unhurt, because of the spines.

Tops on the hedgehog's menu are insects, followed by small mice, snails, lizards, frogs, eggs, and even snakes. When a hedgehog goes after a snake to eat, its spines act as a shield against the reptile's bites.

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The scientific name for the genus that includes the three species of Eurasian hedgehogs is Erinaceus. The hedgehog family's scientific name is Erinaceidae, and it includes hedgehogs and gymnures.

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Even if a bold predator does stop to investigate a rolled-up hedgehog, it's usually unsuccessful at prying the hedgehog open. Most predators move past the hedgehog to look for easier prey.

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If a fox, badger, or other predator approaches, a hedgehog rolls up tight.

If a fox, badger, or other predator approaches, a hedgehog rolls up tight.

Everyone is sure to know what a Hedgehog looks like. The animal is almost totally covered in 25mm (1") long spines (Which are really modified hairs). These are absent from the chest, belly, throat and legs which are covered with a coarse, grey-brown fur. There are approximately 5,000/7,000 spines on an average adult Hedgehog

Find out more?

usgs.wildlifeinformation.org/S/00Ref/.../D75TheBasicFacts.htm

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www.wildlife-web.org.uk/hedgehog/

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Food

Hedgehog

Appearance

Hedgehogs have prickly spines everywhere except on their face, legs, and bellies.

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Protection

Hedgehogs sometimes add extra protection to their spines by "self-anointing." Immune to poisons in some plants, hedgehogs sometimes eat those plants and then make a frothy saliva in their mouths.

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Pets

Sometimes people keep hedgehogs as pets. Captive hedgehogs will eat household and garden pests (that's insect pests... not little brothers or sisters)! The normal lifespan of a hedgehog is about seven years.

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Hibernation

If you want to attract wildlife to your garden, leave wild areas and avoid 'tidying up' too much. Hedgehogs tend to hibernate between November and mid March and may choose the stack of leaves or branches in your garden. For this reason if you have to get rid of such material, move it to a different spot before setting fire to it: a Hedgehog may be sheltering or hibernating in it. They like to nest under things (e.g. sheds, hedges and brushwoods) and need plenty of dry leaves to build their nest.