The hedgehog is an animal that we have known about since our early childhood. Fairy tales and cartoons introduced us to him. But do we really know these prickly little bundles well enough?
Do you know what hedgehogs are dangerous or what hedgehogs are useful for? And is it true that hedgehogs carry apples and mushrooms on their backs? In this article, you will learn interesting facts about hedgehogs and find answers to all these questions.
1. Did you know that the common hedgehog has 5 thousand needles! Having such a fur coat requires careful care. Hedgehogs take care of their needles with their paws, but they are too short and do not allow the animal to completely clean itself from parasites. In such a situation, the hedgehog is helped by the acid secreted by fruit. Hedgehogs begin to ride on rotting apples or other fruits - this is one of the most unusual facts about hedgehogs. Such shenanigans make one wonder about the hedgehog's taste preferences. However, the hedgehog does not prick the fruit on its needles to carry it on its back to its burrow.
2. Everyone knows about the hedgehog's ability to curl up into a prickly ball in case of danger. The hedgehog's needles serve him as strong armor and protection. With such an armor hedgehog comes out the winner even in a fight with a viper. However, it is not only the needles that allow him to win the fight. One of the least known facts about hedgehogs is that these animals are insensitive to many poisons. Arsenic, opium, and even hydrocyanic acid have little effect on hedgehogs.
3 We used to think of hedgehogs as harmless creatures. But despite this, they are quite capable of standing up for themselves. After all, they have at their disposal not only prickly needles, but also 36 sharp teeth.
4. Many people think that the hedgehog has no tail. But this is not true - he has a tail. It is just very short, its length is only 3 cm. Of course, to see such a small tail under the hedgehog's needles is very difficult.
5. Despite their small size, hedgehogs are quite brisk animals. They can run at a speed of up to 3 m/sec. In addition, hedgehogs can swim and jump very well, they have a keen sense of smell and very sensitive hearing. Except that hedgehogs' eyesight is weak.
6. A hedgehog is not afraid to spoil his figure. In winter the hedgehog hibernates, and before hibernating he puts on 500 grams of fat on top of his normal weight of 800 grams. Such reserves allow it not to die of hunger in winter and to sleep peacefully until spring. Curiously, the body temperature of hedgehogs during hibernation drops to 2°C - this is one of the most interesting facts about hedgehogs.
7. The hedgehog is an insect-eating animal. But its diet is not limited to insects. In addition to insects, hedgehogs eat berries and fruits, mice and voles, sometimes reptiles and amphibians. Hedgehogs also eat eggs or nestlings of small birds that nest on the ground. A hedgehog can even eat a snake.
8. Hedgehogs are useful in destroying various pests. These animals exterminate May beetles, caterpillars of monkworms and gypsy silkworms. In addition, hedgehogs destroy mice and voles. Hedgehog is a faithful guardian of the garden. After all, where this prickly ball appears, rats and snakes go away.
9. First of all, the hedgehog harms by ruining birds' nests. And this problem is relevant to both wildlife and pets.
If you have a hedgehog living in your dacha and have chickens, hedgehogs are a threat to them. But the greatest harm from hedgehogs is disease. Hedgehogs can carry diseases such as rabies, salmonellosis, dermatomycosis, yellow fever and others. In addition, hedgehogs carry a lot of ticks and fleas. This is dangerous for the animals in your garden. Hedgehogs are also hosts for ixodid ticks.
10. Very often, children find a hedgehog and bring it home, trying to turn it into a pet. This is a big mistake. Hedgehogs are wild animals, nocturnal and not trainable. In addition, they are carriers of serious diseases.
This makes it highly undesirable to have hedgehogs as pets.