Where they live and what they eat hedgehogs
Only in the world, there are 23 species of hedgehogs. The hedgehog is widely distributed in all areas of the globe, except South America, Australia, Madagascar and Antarctica. In Russia it lives almost everywhere.
Hedgehogs live under tree roots, in abandoned burrows of rodents, in the thickets of a prickly Bush, under the driftwood, in piles of brushwood. Lead a single life, have and protect their individual foraging areas. On the plot hedgehogs build several nests, which are lined inside with leaves, dry grass, moss.
Day hedgehogs sleep in the shelter, curled into a ball, at dusk and hunt at night. Omnivorous. They feed mainly on insect larvae, beetles, slugs, earthworms and sometimes attack amphibians, reptiles, eat the eggs of ground-nesting birds. For eggs hedgehogs sometimes even get into the chicken coop. However, this rarely happens. Consume small animals and plant food – mushrooms, berries, fruit, acorns, roots. However, contrary to the opinion, formed under the influence of folk tales, fruit and mushrooms on the needles they are not.
In the winter months (late September - early October to April, when the temperature exceeds +15°C) hedgehogs hibernate. At this time, heart rate and respiratory activities are significantly reduced. However, if the animal is not managed in the summer to accumulate sufficient fat reserves during hibernation, he faces starvation. In particularly bad years in the period of hibernation kills up to 40% of adult animals and up to 85% of the young. In the wild, the lifespan of hedgehogs is from 2 to 7 years, in captivity up to 15.
Animal lovers willing to contain hedgehogs in the home, it is not difficult. In captivity they readily eat meat, bread, eggs, milk, oatmeal and even cat food. However, milk is unhealthy for animals as they naturally are lactose intolerant, cat food contains too much fat and not enough protein. In addition, the hedgehogs love ice cream.
The enemies of the prickly animals
Hedgehogs have excellent safety mechanism. In case of danger, the animal rolls up in a ball and puts out their sharp thorns. However, some predators have learned to cope with Ezhova protection. Foxes, wolves, ferrets, badgers prey on hedgehogs. The animals swim well, but not too fond of the water. They say that some predators face curled up in a ball hedgehog in the water, and when he turns to go, grab.
And large birds of prey such as owls and eagle owls, the needles do not worry. They hunt at night, at the same time as Jerzy. Owls and owls have long fingers and claws, and tough skin on the feet. So birds of prey are very dangerous for hedgehogs.
And the forest animals suffer from human activities. More paved roads and number of vehicles is increasing. Hedgehogs are not afraid of cars, but walking the pavement fear. And it was nothing but brave forest animals sometimes still dare to cross the road. And not always it ends happily for the hedgehog.