The hedgehog is a carnivorous nocturnal animal of small size (body length 20-30 cm, weight – 700-800 g) with a short tail (length – 3 cm). It dwells mainly in mixed and broad-leaved forests, but also penetrates into the taiga and steppe.
The hedgehog can be found in neglected gardens, parks and even in grain fields bordering the forest. In the daytime he hides under a heap of brushwood and leaves among the bushes, at night he goes to feed. Over night, the hedgehog is sometimes up to 3 km. In the dark, he finds food with a subtle sense of smell, although, to a certain extent, his eyes and ears help him. The food is served by beetles, earthworms, lice, mollusks, newts, frogs, toads, lizards, snakes, mice, voles, shrews, as well as berries, acorns, fallen ripe fruits of apple, pear and other trees.
In case of danger, the hedgehog curls into a ball, pressing his head against his belly and pulling his paws and tail under him: a spiny ball with all needles sticking out in all directions. Needles of the hedgehog – this is a modified hair, located only on the back: the muzzle and abdomen are covered with ordinary hair.
When meeting with forest animals (wolf, marten, fox), the hedgehog snorts and jumps, trying to prick the enemy. If this does not help, it rolls into a ball, exposing the attacking predator its spiny back. Often, nailing the muzzle with needles, the attacker leaves the hedgehog alone. But it does not always happen.