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A hedgehog is a small mammal with spiky spines on its back. They have been around for about 15 million years and are one of the cutest animals you’ll ever see. For more information on Hedgehogs read the fact file below or download our comprehensive worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
- There are seventeen different species of hedgehog found in Europe, Asia, Africa and New Zealand where they were introduced.
- There are no hedgehogs native to Australia, and no living species native to the Americas.
- The scientific Latin name for a hedgehog is Erinaceus europaeus. It is a mammal from the subfamily Erinaceinae, which is in the order Erinaceomorpha.
- The name hedgehog first came into use in the Middle Ages around the year 1450. Hedge was because it was often found in hedgerows and hog was because of its piglike snout.
- The name for a baby hedgehog is a hoglet and a group of hedgehog is called an array or prickle.
- Hedgehogs have around 5000 spiked spines on their backs, which are known as quills, and each one typically lasts around one year.
- These quills are defensive and are useful to protect the hedgehog from attacks by foxes and badgers.
- When hedgehogs feel threatened they can curl up into a spiky ball, protecting their belly and face from attack.
- Hedgehogs have a very varied diet and eat many things including insects, snails, frogs and toads, snakes, bird eggs, carrion, mushrooms, berries, melons and watermelons. Sometimes, hedgehogs will search for earthworms, after rainstorms.
- The hedgehog is one of the first mammals and the hedgehog as we know it has been around for 15 million years, surviving ice ages in the process.
- Like many of the first mammals, they have adapted to a nocturnal way of life and sleep all day in nests under bushes or in woodland areas.
- All wild hedgehogs can hibernate in winter but not all of them do. The factors that determine whether a hedgehog will hibernate can include the temperature, the species of hedgehog and the availability of food.
- If the hedgehog does hibernate, they construct a special nest called hibernaculum. During their hibernation, the body temperate drops and they slow their breathing rate. Many hedgehogs lose up to half their body weight during hibernation and must find food quickly when they wake.
- Hedgehogs have very poor eyesight but they have an excellent sense of smell and and hearing – both of which are used for them to sniff out and hear their prey.
- The most common domesticated hedgehog is the African pygmy hedgehog, which a hybrid of the white-bellied hedgehog or four-toed hedgehog and the North African hedgehog.
- Hedgehogs are solitary animals and are not social. The male hedgehog is called a boar and they are not involved with rearing their offspring.
- Female hedgehogs are known as sows and they will give birth to a litter of 3-4 or 5-6 newborn depending on the species of hedgehog.
- Baby hedgehogs are born blind with a protective membrane covering their quills, which dries and shrinks over the next several hours. They learn to hunt quickly and will survive on their own after only 2-3 months.
- Owning a hedgehog in some U.S States is actually illegal – including California and Pennsylvania.
- In the UK wild hedgehogs are considered an endangered species and it is illegal to keep one as a pet.
- Hedgehogs are a fairly vocal animal and can communicate through a combination of grunts, snuffles and/or squeals, depending on species.
- Hedgehogs are actually quite fast and can travel up to 3km per hour, covering about 6 feet per second when hunting for food.
- Hedgehogs have some natural immunity against snake venom due to the protein erinacin in the animal’s muscles and they aren’t affected by bites from an adder, but a large snake like a viper could still kill them.
- Hedgehogs can suffer many of the same diseases as humans, including cancer, fatty liver disease and cardiovascular disease.
This bundle contains 10 ready-to-use Hedgehog Worksheets that are perfect for students who want to learn more about the Hedgehog which is a small mammal with spiky spines on its back. They have been around for about 15 million years and are one of the cutest animals you’ll ever see.
Download includes the following worksheets:
- Hedgehog Facts
- Drawing Challenge
- The Heptodon
- Word Building
- Hedgehog Species
- Hedgehog Diet
- Hedgehog Habitat
- Anatomy of a Hedgehog
- Hedgehog Acrostic
- Sonic the Hedgehog
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Link will appear as Hedgehog Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, June 27, 2017
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