Hedgehog Facts and Information
Introduction to Hedgehog
The Hedgehog is certainly a unique looking creature. It gets plenty of attention due to the fact that it is so strange in design. They are very small and could easily fit in the palm of your hand. Yet they have a very prickly body design and that makes them tough to touch without it feeling uncomfortable. That prickly body though helps to protect them from various predators.
The body of the Hedgehog is covered with very sharp needle like entities. Experts say that they are much sharper than those of a Porcupine. They are very light in color, often a tan or sandy color. They have darker coloring on their quills than they do on their face and the front of the body. Their colors are determined by location so that they can easily blend in with their surroundings.
There are many locations out there where the Hedgehog lives. They are scattered around Asia, Africa, New Zealand, and Europe. They need a place to live that is dry and they need a location that offers them well drained soil. They create a very small home range that allows them to nest and to find food.
Even though the Hedgehog has very sharp quills, it has a defense mechanism that is confusing to predators. When they feel that they are at risk they will simply curl up in a ball. The predator can’t figure out what the image is that they see. They also can’t find a place that isn’t full of those sharp quills so they are going to leave it alone. This is also the position that it sleeps in to help it stay safe during resting periods.
This animal is also known to make a variety of noises. They are to scare away predators and to also secure their habitat. They can be very aggressive when other Hedgehogs try to get into their space. These noises include growls, chattering, and snorting. Another peculiar behavior is that they will lick anything that they aren’t familiar with. It is believed this helps them to perceive if it is a danger to them or not.
The primary diet of the Hedgehog consists of various types of insects. They also consume a variety of different invertebrates. Earthworms, snails, and slugs are often part of what they will eat. If they can find small eggs of various living things they will consume them. During various times of the year they will consume fruits and berries from the plants around them.
They also consume reptiles including small snakes. They have a body that is designed to allow them to eat even poisonous snakes. Their bodies seem to be immune to those toxins.
When a female is ready for mating she will give off a very powerful scent. This will draw males to her. It is common for the males to fight about the right to mate with a given female. The male will circle around the female he wishes to mate with for hours at a time until she gives in to his advances.
If the female isn’t going to give in she can become very aggressive. Still, the male will be completely exhausted before he gives up on those advances. If the pair do mate they will go their own ways as soon as they are done. This mating can be very noisy and it can last for a long period of time.
The average gestation period is 35 to 58 days. There can be up to 4 young born. The mother is very protective of them. She has to keep males away as they will often try to kill the young if they can get the opportunity.