Hedgehogs have poor eyesight, acute hearing, short legs, a long pointed snout, and 36-44 teeth.A hedgehog’s excellent sense of smell allows it to detect a worm under the ground. And Harvey our hedgehog can hunt out a good story anywhere …
Hedgehogs have approx 6,000 spines on their backs and modified hair of 2-3 cm long. The adults weigh around 1-2 kg.
Hedgehogs can swim, climb walls and run fast – speeds of up to 4.5 mph.
Sadly, hedgehogs are becoming endangered. One of the problems is fewer good old country gardens and too many manicured lawns or patios. Cars, lawnmowers, the fox and the badger are other enemies.
If threatened, the hedgehog freezes and rolls into a ball with its spines sticking out in defence. When erected, the spines stick out at different angles to create an impassable barrier.
Hedgehogs provide a valuable insect pest control service. They are insectivores, eating earthworms, beetles, earwigs, slugs, millipedes, and caterpillars, and sometimes even bird’s eggs, mice, frogs, and other small rodents.