Common Name: Western European Hedgehog

Scientific Name: Erinaceus europaeus

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Insectivora

Family: Erinaceidae

Genius:Erinaceus

Species: E. europaeus

I am writing a science report about the Western European hedgehog and its environment. I have found information on the habitat, reproduction, behavior, the types of food it eats, and how it helps the environment as well as effects the environment. A hedgehog habitat usually consists of areas like the woods, grassy areas, land, and sand dunes. I think that this particular hedgehog likes the grassy areas because of the way it feels to it or possibly because it helps prevent attacks from predators. I think it likes sand dunes because of the climate and the types of food there is for it to eat. This hedgehog’s scientific name is Erinaceus europaeus. The Erinaceus europaeus does not like the Himalayas nor North Africa.

 

The following are the characteristics of an Erinaceus europaus. It’s feet have five toes, but the first and last toes are smaller than the others. They also have small claws that are very strong for grabbing their prey. The E. europaeus also has spines all over it’s body and uses them for protection. The spines could be 20 mm. In length. These types of hedgehogs have up to five thousand spines through out their body. The colors of the spines are white in the base, black in the bands, and white and brown in between. This hedgehog has a mixture of colors in it’s spines. It’s body color could be yellow, white, with a bit of brown.

 

Next, I will be discussing the behavior of the E. europaus. First, the hedgehog is mostly alone through-out it’s life except during breeding season. When there is a lot of hedgehog's around they starts making sound's. The young make strange noises. The noises they make are bird whistles and quacks when they are in their nests. The long middle toe is used for scratching their spines and the tongue is used to groom the stomach. This hedgehog can swim, climb, and run slowly. When it is being chased by predators it can suddenly run very fast. Some predators of the hedghog are owls, dogs, foxes, and polecats. Now I am going to inform you of the hedgehogs eating habits. E. Europaeus like to eat invertebrates like earth worms, slugs, and snails. It uses it’s mouth to catch earth worms. They also eat meat and bread. They drink fruit juice. Hedgehogs also eat millipedes, eggs, and frogs. I think hedgehogs eat anything from insects to what humans eat.

The third characteristic of this particular hedgehog that I will be reporting on is how it helps as well as effects it's environment. It effects the environment in a negative way because it carries a worm called the ring worm, yellow fever and foot and mouth diseases. They also steal eggs from chickens and they carry fleas. The hedgehogs effect the environment in a positive way by having them as house pets. People say that if a hedgehog is buried under a building , it will bring good luck. When alive it can cure boldness and predict the weather. In conclusion I would like to thank the reader for taking the time to read my research that I have put together in this report.

Author: Alexis. P

Published: April 2006

Sources:wikipedia.org and animal diversity.com

Photo Credit:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/84/European_hedgehog_(Erinaceus_europaeus).jpg

 

 

 

 

 

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