Friday, August 22, 2014

Creature Feature #307: Hedgehog

The Hedgehog is a small and prickly mammal. There are seventeen species, occuring naturally throughout Asia, Europe and Africa. The European Hedgehog was introduced to New Zealand by the British Acclimatisation Society and has now become an invasive species. The spines are hollow hairs, made stiff with keratin. These act as a deterrent to any predator, as the Hedgehog will curl up into a ball. He is nocturnal in nature, spending his days curled up in a den and venturing out at night to forage on a variety of foodstuffs, including earthworms and fruit. He is a vocal creature, grunting and snuffling, even chirping when distressed. Hedgehogs that live in colder climates, or where food may be scarce, will hibernate.

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