#factswednesday is here! ✨
Let’s talk about hedgehogs this week. 🦔
Most mammals have fur or hair that is somewhat flexible and soft. But the hair on the back of a hedgehog is a thick layer of spikes (or modified hairs) known as quills. These quills are made of keratin, the same stuff our hair and fingernails are made of.
Hedgehogs can be white or light brown to black, with several shades found in bands along with their quills. Their belly, face, and neck are covered in coarse hair. Some hedgehogs have a dark brown or black mask across their eyes. These interesting critters have small but powerful legs and big feet with five toes each.
The hedgehog’s best defense against predators is its spiky outer armor. With about 3,000 to 5,000 quills covering its back, the hedgehog can protect itself from predators that think it would make a tasty snack. When threatened, the hedgehog raises its quills upright in a crisscross pattern, making its body pointy and sharp. It uses its belly muscles, back muscles, and extra skin to tuck in its head, legs, and tail to curl into a complete ball, protecting its soft belly. The solid ball of spikes is hard for predators to open.
But what do they eat?
Hedgehogs are insectivores. But they can also eat other ground-dwelling creatures such as slugs and snails. The European hedgehog dines on earthworms, beetles, millipedes, caterpillars, slugs, snails, earwigs, and birds’ eggs and chicks. Some hedgies, like those in Africa’s deserts, even eat dead wildlife, small rodents and snakes, and scorpions. The menu of a South African hedgehog includes all the above as well as fungi, frogs, lizards, termites, grasshoppers, and moths. Don’t forget the veggies! Some hedgies include fruit, roots, grass, leaves, and seeds along with their creepy-crawly main course.
Hedgehogs are amazing and we believe that is the reason why their costumes are so popular! 🥰
Get your hedgehog costume here: https://divendicostumes.com/product/hedgehog-vest-for-kids/