The scientific name for a hedgehog is known as Erinaceus europaeus. There are around seventeen species of hedgehog that are found in major parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa, and these hedgehogs are also seen in some parts of New Zealand. There are no hedgehogs native that belong to Australia and there are no living species native to America. Most of the hedgehog species have a weight of around 700 grams but the well-known western European type of hedgehog gets bigger and weighs nearly 1,100 grams and its body length is estimated up to the range of 15 to 30 cm that falls as 5.57 to 12 inches. These hedgehogs consist of a stubby and slender brushed tail which has the capacity to grow up to 6.0 cm.
Characteristic features of the body
All hedgehogs are very similar when you take their body form into account but there are few species that survive in the desert area and they have big ears and long legs while comparing to other hedgehogs. The tiny, broad and sturdily built body of hedgehog is richly coated with sharp spines which is also absent in the underbelly, legs, face, and ears. The colored spines are banded with light brown and black while the underbelly is covered by a scattered coarse coat which simply ranges from white to black and even sometimes found to be blotched, depending upon the species. The face may be white, brownish, or showing a masked pattern. The limbs are thin and very short, but the feet are large and bear long, bent claws and also the first toe is small or even absent in Atelerix. Although the eyes are big in size, vision is poor. Hearing and smelling capacity of hedgehogs is considered to be an awful one and their ears are conspicuous part and are gradually tapered, mobile muzzle ends in moist as well as the hairless nose.
Food that hedgehogs love to consume
The top food item on the hedgehogs’ favorite menu are some insects species and they also consume rats, toads, eggs, and reptiles such as lizards, snakes, etc., Hedgehogs adds up additional protection to their spines like “self-arming”. There are many poisonous plants and hedgehogs sometimes eat those poisonous plants and then make bubbly saliva in their mouths. The hedgehogs simply spread the saliva mixed with the plant’s poison by licking their spikes thoroughly and this helps them to prevent an attack from another animal. As you know hedgehogs simply stays on the ground but still, they are capable to swim quite well and even climb a tree easily.
Hedgehogs usually make noises like hissing and crouching as well as they will straighten up their spines at the times of sensing danger. The best defensive way of the hedgehog is to shape up itself into a secured sphere. Hedgehog has a tendency that essentially makes a muscle that encircles the body from neck to rump along the sides of the body just beneath the skin and within which the topside spines are embedded. As the animal curls, this muscle and several smaller are connecting muscles shrinking in the upperparts into a bag which is similar to that of a drawstring within which the head, body, and legs are haggard.
Protecting characteristics from attack
The normal oblique spines are flexible and become straightened up, and the rodent changes into a sphere of intimidating sharp spines that simply protects the exposed head, adjunct, and soft underbelly. In this pattern, hedgehogs basically protect themselves against other predators in the woods, but they are sometimes prone to meet dangerous situations created by other species such as hawks, owls and eagles that possess lengthy and piercing talons with scaly legs. Hedgehogs move in a speed of a slow toddler and they take small, spontaneous steps. Their speed varies the species to species and they are capable of showing sudden and violent speed. Hedgehog is also known for its body features that support it to raise high from the level of the ground.
Constant body parameters
Hedgehogs are mainly night lovers but at times they are also found in daylight. Most hedgehogs are earth lovers and a few species could easily climb up the tree and swim in the water. Hedgehogs take up the shelter in rock crack holes, under vegetation, under the hanging rocky bodies, or in burrows during the day time. At the time of sleep, their temperature drops to 4 °C (39 °F) whereas the heartbeat decreases from 190 to 20 per minute, and their breathing is simply reduced to 10 breaths per minute. You have to understand all these body conditions about hedgehogs for making it as your pet animal.
Size of the cage and its features
Your beloved pet hedgehog would spend most of its time inside the cage, so, first of all, you need to make sure that everything inside the cage is set up properly for ensuring a comfortable sleeping form, playing area as well as food area. Now, you must make a list of items that you would like to fill the cage for your lovable hedgehog and you should buy the cage accordingly. Meanwhile, you must make sure that it also falls under your budget. You must also learn about cages before buying the one which suits your little guy. According to many hedgehog owners around the world, they state that the better hedgehog caging choices could be the wire cages as well as plastic storage containers. If you are about to buy a cage you must look into considering these options and determine which fits your home all by yourself.
At a minimum size of consideration, the hedgehog cage that you choose should be around 2 feet by 2 feet in size and also you can make use of 2 feet by 4 feet wide which are also most preferred by many hedgehog owners. When you possess a spacious room that can fairly fit larger cage, then this could be simply great because this can certainly allow your hedgehog to dwell in more space for exploring and playing. They are little but they do stay in a proactive manner, so you need to make sure that there is enough space in the cage for it to move and roll around comfortably without any restriction. You can also fill up your best hedgehog cage with a fabric liner, wood shavings liner and also paper shavings liner. You can buy these products in the market or also in the online stores.