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The European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus), also known as the West European hedgehog or common hedgehog, is a hedgehog species found in Europe, from Iberia and Italy northwards into Scandinavia. It is a generally common and widely distributed species that can survive across a wide range of habitat types. It is a well-known species, and a favorite in European gardens, both for its endearing appearance and its preference for eating a range of garden pests. While populations are currently stable across much of its range, it is thought to be declining severely in Great Britain. Erinaceus europaeus has a generalised body structure with unspecialised limb girdles. The animal appears brownish with most of its body covered by up to 6,000 brown and white spines. Length of head and body is ~160 mm (6.3 in) at weaning, increasing to 260 mm (10 in) or more in large adults. This species has an extremely short tail as an almost vestigial feature, typically 20 to 30 mm (0.79 to 1.18 in). Weight increases from around 120 g (4.2 oz) at weaning to > 1,100 g (2.4 lb) in adulthood.

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