Kingdom : Animalia
                    Class : Mammalia
                 Family : Erinaceidae
  Scientific Name : Atelerix Albiventris

                      Size : 16 - 35cm (6 - 14in)
                 Weight : 1 - 2kg (2.2 - 4.4lbs)
           Top Speed : 19km/h (12mph)
            Life Span : 3 - 6 years
                Colour : Tan, Brown, Grey

           Skin Type : Spikes
Special Features : Long snout and can
                               roll into a spiky ball
  1. Hedgehogs are small mammals, native to Asia, Africa and Europe.
  2. They are one of the oldest mammals on earth thought to exist since 15 million years.
  3. They have been artificially introduced to other countries and are now found throughout the world.
  4. There are around 16 species of hedgehog in the world.
  5. Depending on the species they vary in size from 16cm to 35cm.
  6. Distinctively, their backs are covered in spikes.
  7. They differ from porcupines in their spikes not being detachable and poisonous.
  8. Their spikes are made of keratin and are actually just hollow hair.
  9. Some species of hedgehog just curl into a spiky ball for self-defense whereas other species try to run away from predators.
  10. They are quite vocal and communicate between themselves through grunts, snuffles and squeals.
  11. The female hedgehog gives birth to a litter of babies of around 3-7, the numbers vary with species.
  12. The young are born blind, without their spikes and grow their spikes in a few days after being cleaned by their mother.
  13. Once they get to a certain age, the baby hedgehog sheds its spikes and grows adult spikes.
  14. Interestingly, hedgehogs are known to shed their spikes under extreme stress.
  15. They are omnivorous nocturnal mammals feeding on mainly bugs and insects.
  16. Their natural predators are owls, birds, ferrets, foxes, wolves and weasels.
  17. Depending on the species, climate and availability of food, some hedgehogs hibernate during the winters.
  18. Their average lifespan is between 3-6 years, with the larger species living a little longer than the smaller species.

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