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🎂Shari's Birthday & 🐹Hedgehogs!!!
However, the immature animal's spines normally fall out as they are replaced with adult spines. This is called "quilling". Spines can also shed when the animal is diseased or under extreme stress. Hedgehog skeleton Close-up of the last 5 mm of a hedgehog spine SEM microscopy A skin-skeletal preparation Close-up of the last 0. When the creature is rolled into a ball, the quills on the back protect the tucked face, feet, and belly, which are not quilled. Since the effectiveness of this strategy depends on the number of spines, some desert hedgehogs that evolved to carry less weight are more likely to flee or even attack, ramming an intruder with the spines; rolling into a spiny ball for those species is a last resort. The various species are prey to different predators: Hedgehogs are primarily nocturnal , though some species can also be active during the day. Hedgehogs sleep for a large portion of the day under bushes, grasses, rocks, or most commonly in dens dug in the ground, with varying habits among the species. All wild hedgehogs can hibernate , though not all do, depending on temperature, species, and abundance of food. Self-anointing Hedgehogs occasionally perform a ritual called anointing. The purpose of this habit is unknown, but some experts believe anointing camouflages the hedgehog with the new scent of the area and provides a possible poison or source of infection to predators poked by their spines. Anointing is sometimes also called anting because of a similar behavior in birds. Like opossums , mice, and moles , hedgehogs have some natural immunity against some snake venom through the protein erinacin in the animal's muscular system, although it is only available in small amounts and a viper bite may still be fatal. In mammals, the olfactory part of the brain is covered by neopallium , making it difficult to expose. This difficulty is not impossible, as it varies from one species to another. They feed on insects , snails , frogs and toads , snakes , bird eggs , carrion , mushrooms , grass roots , berries , melons and watermelons. The average litter is 3—4 newborns for larger species and 5—6 for smaller ones. As with many animals, it is not unusual for an adult male hedgehog to kill newborn males. Hedgehogs have a relatively long lifespan for their size. Larger species of hedgehogs live 4—7 years in the wild some have been recorded up to 16 years , and smaller species live 2—4 years 4—7 in captivity , compared to a mouse at 2 years and a large rat at 3—5 years. Lack of predators and controlled diet contribute to a longer lifespan in captivity 8—10 years depending on size. Hedgehogs are born blind with a protective membrane covering their quills, which dries and shrinks over the next several hours. Hedgehogs in the UK have demonstrably  lower populations in areas where badgers are numerous, so that British hedgehog rescue societies will not release hedgehogs into known badger territories. The most common pet species of hedgehog are hybrids of the white-bellied hedgehog or four-toed hedgehog Atelerix albiventris and the North African hedgehog A. Other species kept as pets are the long-eared hedgehog Hemiechinus auritus and the Indian long-eared hedgehog H. It is illegal to own a hedgehog as a pet in some US states including Hawaii, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and California,  and some Canadian municipalities, and breeding licenses are required. No such restrictions exist in most European countries with the exception of Scandinavia. In Italy , it is illegal to keep wild hedgehogs as pets. In New Zealand it causes immense damage to native species including insects, snails , lizards and ground-nesting birds, particularly shore birds. Eradication can be troublesome. Attempts to eliminate hedgehogs from bird colonies on the Scottish islands of North Uist and Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides were met with international outrage. Eradication began in with hedgehogs being killed. Animal welfare groups attempted rescues to save the hedgehogs. By , legal injunctions against the killing of hedgehogs were put in place. In , the elimination process was changed from killing the hedgehogs to trapping them and releasing them on the mainland. Cancer is very common in hedgehogs. The most common is squamous cell carcinoma. Squamous cell spreads quickly from the bone to the organs in hedgehogs, unlike in humans. Surgery to remove the tumors is rare because it would result in removing too much bone structure. Fatty liver disease is believed by many to be caused by bad diet. Hedgehogs will eagerly eat foods that are high in fat and sugar. Having a metabolism adapted for low-fat, protein-rich insects, this leads to common problems of obesity. Fatty liver disease is one sign, heart disease is another. Hedgehogs uncommonly transmit a characteristic fungal skin infection to human handlers as well as other hedgehogs. This ringworm or dermatophytosis infection is caused by Trichophyton erinacei, which forms a distinct mating group within the Arthroderma benhamiae species complex. There is no single cause for this condition. The air can be removed by incising or aspirating through the skin over the back. Antibiotic cover should be given. As with most small mammals living around humans, cars pose a great threat to hedgehogs. Many are run over as they attempt to cross roadways. European hedgehog In Ireland , hedgehogs are one of the most common mammalian road fatalities. Of the hedgehog carcasses collected from throughout Ireland , there were significantly more males than females collected, with peaks in male deaths occurring in May and June. Female deaths only outnumbered males in August, with further peaks in female deaths observed in June and July. Then, being unable to get out, they would starve to death. Domesticated hedgehogs display this behavior by getting their head stuck in tubes commonly, lavatory paper tubes and walking around with the tube on their head. Hedgehog owners often refer to this as "tubing" and promote the behavior by supplying clean tubes. Most owners are considerate enough, however, to cut the tubes lengthwise so as to prevent the hedgehog from remaining trapped against their will. Curiously though, some will still knowingly get themselves stuck for a few hours. Hedgehogs were eaten in Ancient Egypt and some recipes of the Late Middle Ages call for hedgehog meat. In the Middle East and especially among Bedouins , hedgehog meat is considered medicinal, and thought to cure rheumatism and arthritis. In Morocco , inhaling the smoke of the burnt skin or bristles is a purported remedy for fever, male impotence, and urinary illnesses. The blood is sold as a cure for ringworm, cracked skin and warts and the flesh is eaten as a remedy for witchcraft. Tiggy-Winkle is a hedgehog. In the passage, the hedgehog is identified as signifying "friendship, a burying of the hatchet, and making up". Nesbit wrote a fantasy short story entitled "The Princess and the Hedge-pig" collected in The Magic World , , in which a prince is under an enchantment, and his transformation into a hedgehog allows a curious prophecy to come true. In the British detective novel, The Ellerby Case by John Rhode , in the chapter entitled "The Green Hedgehog," Doctor Lancelot Priestly, the investigator who solves the case, is nearly murdered by a hedgehog dyed green whose spines have been impregnated with a virulent poison. Philip Larkin , who turned down Poet Laureate-ship and is the late 20th century's best-known English poet,[ according to whom? Genera and species An urban European hedgehog out foraging at night. Subfamily Erinaceinae Hedgehogs .
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