Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Speculative Zoology #6: Hedgehog

This small insectivore struggled after the loss of the human race. It became a major food source for foxes, feral cats, feral dogs and even the larger and more vicious rats. Although a spiny mouthful, they found ways to capture and kill it and those that were not killed outright were often fatally maimed.

A few lucky individuals found refuge in the only safe place left to it - underground, in the buried basements, sewers and pipes. Here they found insects and sanctuary and over time their descendents became almost entirely sub-terrestrial. They made burrows deep in the earth and crawled through broken drainpipes and underground architecture. Its claws became longer and stronger and its spines reduced to mere nubs. It did, however, retain a ruff of spines about its neck that lie flat against the body, unless the molhog becomes excited or is threatened. Then they are raised to form a spiny collar. These spines are also used in communication and courtship displays, with the ratting of the spines intermingled with chirps and grunts. Although the molhog spends most of its time underground, it has been known to come topside on warm spring nights, after the rain, when it takes great delight in sucking up worms and gobbling on frogs.

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