Latin name: Erinaceidae
size: 15 - 40 cm
mass: up to approx. 1800g
Older: 1 - 4 years
Sexual dimorphism: No
food: Earthworms, insects
distribution: Africa, Asia, Europe
original origin: probably North Africa
Sleep-wake rhythm: twilight and nocturnal
habitat: Grasslands, forests
natural enemies: Eagle, owl, badger, fox, marten
sexual maturitywith about 10-12 months
mating season: April - July
gestation: 35 - 45 days
litter size: 1 - 10 cubs
social behavior: Loners
Threatened with extinction: No
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.
Interesting facts about the hedgehog
- The name "hedgehog" is derived from the Greek and means something like "snake eater", although mainly insects and earthworms are on the menu of the hedgehog.
- When danger threatens, the hedgehog rolls into a ball and straightens its spines.
- Hedgehogs are loners and meet only at mating season
- At the time of birth, hedgehogs already have spines, which are still soft and not hardened, so that the mother is not injured in the birth process.
- Hedgehogs in northern Europe usually hibernate. During this time, they feed on the fat reserves of the summer and can lose ¾ of their body weight.
- When searching for food, the hedgehog uses both hearing and nose. With the ears hedgehogs can locate smaller vertebrates below and above the earth. In contrast, the nose is more suitable for the search for insects and earthworms.
- Hedgehogs are often attacked by a variety of parasites such as fleas and ticks. Although the spines are suitable as a defense against larger predators, parasites also provide an ideal hiding place.
- Usually, hedgehogs are rarely found as nocturnal animals. A hedgehog wandering during the day can therefore be a sign of a sick or emaciated hedgehog.
- A weakened hedgehog found in the garden should never be fed with milk or dairy products, as hedgehogs can not use milk sugar. Better is cat food, a hard-boiled egg or fried minced meat.