European hedgehog 1.jpg

The European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus) is one of our most instantly recognisable native mammals, as it is the only British mammal to have spines. It is also characterised by its fairly short tail, long legs and small ears. Young hedgehogs are born with a coat of soft, white spines, which are underneath the skin to protect the mother during birth, but emerge after a few hours. A second coat of dark spines emerges after about 36 hours, and later on a third set develops. By 11 days of age the young hedgehogs can curl into a ball, and after 14 days the eyes open.

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