Erinaceus europaeus Linn from Die Säugthiere in Abbildungen nach der Natur, mit Beschreibungen.
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Image ID: SIL-SIL7-269-28_crop
Original Caption: Erinaceus europaeus Linn.
From looking at this illustration of a hedgehog, it should be no surprise that a hedgehog is definitely not a hog. It is in a completely different family of mammals. It does, however, have a snout that’s similar to a hog’s snout which is reflected in part in its name. Aside from the hog, hedgehogs also resemble another animal: the porcupine. With sharp spines that cover its skin like quills cover a porcupine, it’s best not to pet these small animals. Their spines are pointy, hollow hairs that protect the hedgehog from predators. To avoid being a fox’s dinner, a hedgehog simply needs to curl into a tight ball so that none of its soft body parts are shown. The hedgehog sleeps like this, too. Imagine covering yourself with a blanket of spikes when you sleep. You would feel pretty safe! However, if you slept like a hedgehog, you would have to sleep during the day. They are nocturnal animals that travel up to half a mile from their dens at night searching for food. No calling for food delivery for them! They are naturally solitary, so they eat alone. Hedgehogs eat many different things, including mice, snails, lizards and frogs. Because their spines protect them from snakebites, they can even eat some snakes as well. Being prickly has its advantages!