Hedgehog – insectivorous animal, the average weight of the animal is almost 800 g, but before hibernation, it gains weight to about 1200 g. Males are slightly larger in size than the female. The front legs of the hedgehog are shorter than the rear, five fingers on each are equipped with sharp claws. Small tail up to 3 cm is almost not visible under the needle coat of the animal.
Brownish-light needles up to 3 cm in size, hollow inside. Under each needle there is a muscle fiber, capable of lifting it and lowering it. Grow and drop out with a periodicity of about 1-2 needles of three per year. Full dumping of the fur coat does not happen, gradually the cover is updated over a year and a half. Dropped needles only diseased individuals.
The number of needles in an adult hedgehog reaches 5-6 thousand, and in a young animal – up to 3 thousand spines. Rare blonde hair between the needles, too, come across, and on the abdomen and head they are thick and colored darker. A gray, single-colored wool coat is more common, but among the hedgehogs there are species of white and spotted.
A feature of hedgehogs is known to be curtailed by a prickly glomerulus if it is threatened. This possibility is associated with the operation of the ring muscles, the ability to stretch the upper layers of the skin. In this state, little animals can stay for a long time until the threat passes. Needles grow at different angles and form a strong weave of thorns. Such an unapproachable ball.
Animals urchins inhabit only two continents: Eurasia and northern regions of Africa. Despite the similarity of the climate in Europe and North America, hedgehogs are no longer there, although the fossil remains speak of the former settlement. Mixed forests and copses, grassy plains, overgrown floodplains of rivers, steppes, sometimes deserts are habitats of prickly animals. Avoid only marshy places and coniferous massifs. The territory of hedgehogs in the world of animals is not labeled, they live alone in a particular area, which they regularly investigate in search of food.
Hedgehogs are nocturnal animals, in the afternoon they hide among the leaves and in the bushes of bushes, between the roots of plants. They do not like the heat, they hide in shallow cool mink or nests from dry grass, moss, leaves. Dimensions of such a dwelling are slightly larger than the size of the owner, up to 20-25 cm. Here the animal cares for a fur coat on the chest and abdomen, licking it with the tongue.
Long middle fingers help to clean as much as possible thorns that protect against predators, but collect ticks and other parasites. Among biologists, there is a concept every hour, indicating the number of mites collected during an hour of movement through the forest. The mating season comes in the spring, after hibernation, or in the summer. Males are fighting for the female through local battles: biting, pricking with needles and threateningly snuggling at each other. There are no special rituals, the winner finds the female by the smell. After mating, the pregnancy proceeds on average from 40 to 56 days. Cubs appear only once a year. Babies are born completely helpless, blind and naked.