We’ll tell you cool interesting hedgehogs facts.
With the word “hedgehog” many of us immediately present a picture from a children’s book, on which a cheerful hedgehog family drags into the mink stuffed on the needles of mushrooms. In fact, hedgehogs are cunning and clever predators who willingly eat not only mushrooms and berries, but in general everything that will be able to find. Or whoever they can catch.
Facts about hedgehogs
- There are 20 small teeth on the upper jaw of a hedgehog and 16 on the lower one.
- With a body length of 20-30 centimeters, hedgehogs have rather small ears – less than 3.5 centimeters. Larger ears are found only in the ears of hedgehogs living in Cyprus.
- Inside the needles of hedgehogs are hollow – they are filled only with air.
- The bodies of young hedgehogs protect from predators about 3 000 needles, adults – 5-6 thousand needles.
- In recent years, more and more hedgehogs are moving from forests to cities. Scientists attribute this to the fact that the main enemies of the hedgehogs, badgers, and owls, are not present in the city streets.
- The hedgehogs are night animals that do not like to move far from their homes. The day of hedgehogs is usually spent in a nest with a diameter of 15-20 centimeters.
- Hedgehogs clean and straighten their needles with long toes.
- The hedgehogs zealously protect their territory from congeners. The area of male hedgehogs is from 7 to 39 hectares, in females – from 6 to 10 hectares.
- The hedgehogs are constantly, though very slowly, shedding. It takes from a year to a year and a half to grow a new needle. On average, a year a hedgehog replaces every third needle on his body.
- In natural conditions hedgehogs live for a maximum of 5 years, and in the home or the zoo – up to 10 years.
- The hedgehogs are quite agile beasts. They can run up to 3 meters per second, are good swimmers and jumpers.
- Since hedgehogs are active at night, their poor eyesight makes up for their excellent sniffing and hearing.
- During walking and running, hedgehogs step on the ground with their feet.
- In summer, the hearts of the hedgehogs make 180 beats per minute. In winter, when the animals hibernate, the heart rate slows down to 20-60 beats.
- During hibernation, hedgehogs breathe in the air only once a minute. The temperature of their bodies drops to 1.8 degrees during this period.
- Each hedgehog must store at least 500 grams of fat during the summer, otherwise, during hibernation, the animals will die hungry.
- Hedgehogs are single animals that make nests near each other but try not to intersect with other adults.
- Hedgehogs are omnivores. Their diet is based on caterpillars, slugs, beetles, sometimes worms, and mice. Often the victims of hedgehogs are reptiles that hibernate. From vegetable food, hedgehogs prefer berries and fruits.
- Researchers have found out that if necessary a hedgehog can eat a viper.
- Deadly for humans doses of arsenic, hydrocyanic acid, and several other poisons are harmless for hedgehogs.
- Pregnancy in the hedgehogs lasts 49 days. Almost immediately after birth on the backs of a hedgehog, there are soft tiny needles.
- At the age of one month, the hedgehogs leave the parental nest and begin to live independently.
- hedgehogs suffer from ticks more than any other animal – their barbed bristles and needles are almost combed out of the grass hungry ticks and collected on the hedgehog’s body. As a result of constant interaction with these parasites, hedgehogs become carriers of many dangerous diseases.
- The Romans even a few centuries before Christ bred hedgehogs for their meat – animals along with needles baked in the clay.
- The hedgehogs occasionally pierced their needles with objects with a strong smell (e.g. cigarette butts or cotton wool pieces with perfume scent). Animals probably do this to discourage parasites.
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