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Animal of the Week...29

The most common feature of the hedgehog is its cover made up stiff, sharp spine, which can be well used like a defence arm: when the animal is threatened, it close its body in a ball-shape, in which the spines are pricked outside. This system may keep away many predators.

Thanks to their small size ( 13 to 30 cm), the hedgehog dig the land searching for its food: insect, worms, snails, mice, frog and snakes. When a hedgehog pick its prey away through the hedges, it emits a piglike grunt!

In fact, many humans consider this little mammal as a pet, useful to clean the garden or the vegetable garden from insect that could ruin the plants. Since their eyesight is almost weak, hedgehog overwork its hearing and smell to move on the environment.

Hedgehogs ibernate during cold seasons, while results active in remaining months, living their solitary life. Usually, this animal met together only to mating. Couples give birth a number of cubs ranging from one to eleven, and remain next to the mother untill other seven weeks. Before that critical moment, the mother have to guard her progeny against other male hedgehogs predators, which sometimes prey upon the young of their same species.