Animals of the world, Hedgehog

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  • There are seventeen species of hedgehog in five genera found through parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa, and in New Zealand by introduction.
  • Hedgehogs have a coat of stiff, sharp spines- hollow hairs made stiff with keratin. The spines cover the body except for the underside, legs, face, and ears. If attacked they will curl into a prickly and unappetizing ball that deters most predators
  • The underside is covered by a sparse, coarse coat, ranging from white to black
  • Most species weigh under 700 grams (1.5 pounds)
  • They are capable of short bursts of speed, raising their body high off the ground as they run on the hairless soles of their feet.
  • Hedgehogs are fairly vocal and communicate through a combination of grunts, snuffles and/or squeals, depending on species.
  • The bulk of their diet consists of insects, worms, centipedes, snails, mice, frogs, and snakes
  • Hedgehog shelter by day beneath vegetation, in rock crevices, beneath overhanging rock ledges, or in burrows
  • Some species, including the West European hedgehog, hibernate during the winter months

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