West European Hedgehog

The West European Hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus) is a mammal. It is also known as the Common Hedgehog.

The West European Hedgehog is brownish with up to 6,000 brown and white spines. It has a stumpy, domed-shaped body with a short tail. 

It grows to about 26 centimetres (10 inches) long. 

West European Hedgehog

The West European Hedgehog is native to Europe, from Iberia and Italy to Scandinavia. It can live is a wide range of habitats, including people’s gardens. 

It is nocturnal, active at night. In colder climates, it hibernates in winter. 

The West European Hedgehog is omnivorous, feeding on invertebrates, such as slugs, snails, worms, beetles, caterpillars, and other insects. 

Predators include badgers, foxes, and pine martens. When alarmed, the Hedgehog curls into a tight ball, protected by its spines. 

The female is pregnant for 31-35 days, before giving birth to 4-6 young. The young are born altricial, meaning that they are born blind with small spines. After 36 hours, the second, outer coat, of spines begin to emerge. Only the mother cares for the young. 

Photographer: Martina Nicolls

Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM

The West European Hedgehog may live, on average, up to 10 years of age. 

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