The Topic:

Easier - A hedgehog is a small animal covered with a thick coat of sharp spines. The hedgehog sleeps in small burrows or nest of grass and tangled leaves under shrubs, rocks, or hollow logs during the day and comes out at night to eat insects.
Harder - Hedgehog mammals grow to 6” to 15”. The average adult hedgehog has about 5,000 spines, modified hair that are 2-3 cm. (1”) long. Hedgehogs have poor eyesight, acute hearing, short legs, a long pointed snout, and 36-44 teeth. Their color ranges from white to dark brown. There are fourteen species in four genera found in Europe, Africa, and Asia. Hedgehogs were also introduced in New Zealand. Their habitat is wooded or cultivated land, including gardens, where they enjoy a close relationship with man, tropical rain forests, steppe, and desert. Desert and long-eared species have powerful legs and strong claws for digging burrows in dry areas. Other hedgehog differences are size, color, and the length of ears and toes. All species, with the exception of the Four-Toed, have five toes on each foot.
These mammals are nocturnal, sleeping during the day and eating at night. Desert and temperate hedgehogs can have dormant periods of hibernation when their body temperature drops to near the same temperature as their surroundings. They sometimes hibernate when there is no food. Northern African hedgehogs hibernate from October to late April. Tropical hedgehogs do not hibernate in their normal environment, but will if there is a lack of food. Occasionally a hedgehog will produce foamy saliva when stimulated by strong smells or tastes and smear it all over their body. This act, called self-anointing, is little understood. Some species can swim and climb, but mostly they stay on the ground.
Hedgehogs provide a valuable insect pest control service. They are insectivores, eating earthworms, beetles, earwigs, slugs, millipedes, and caterpillars. Some species will eat bird’s eggs, mice, frogs, and other small rodents. They also have been known to eat seeds, berries, grasses and leaves, and fallen fruit. Stories in Russia and China tell of hedgehogs impaling fruit on their spines.
If threatened, the hedgehog freezes and rolls into a ball with its spines sticking out for defense. When erected, the spines stick out at different angles to create an impassable barrier. Strong muscles curl the skin tightly over their body. European species appear to be immune to toxins, since they are able to eat bees and wasps. They can eat some venomous snakes, but cannot withstand a direct bite from them. They are vulnerable in India and China due to loss of habitat.
Different hedgehog species breed at different times of the year, but most mate in the spring, and produce 4-6 offspring. Also the gestation period varies between 30-45 days. The young are born naked with ears and eyes closed. Spines are present at birth, but lie just under the skin and sprout in 36 hours. Their eyes open after fourteen days, their teeth at 21 days, and weaning occurs at 6-7 weeks. The hedgehog is a known carrier of fleas. Adults are solitary. They make snuffling noises when courting. They communicate and find food best through their well-developed sense of smell. Hedgehogs in the wild live from 3 to eight years; in captivity they may live up to 10 years.
Hedgehog from Jan Brett
This great hedgehog site contains information and activities for students, photos and pictures, resources and ideas for teachers and their classroom, and lots, lots more.
Not-To-Be Missed Sections:
2) Hedgehog from Jan Brett
3) Hedgetta's New Hoglets at Jan Brett
Related Website:
4) Hedgehog Project at Elementary West School, Loogootee, IN
Hedgehog Central by B.H. Smith
The site lists 14 species, some with pictures, provides general information, describes their colors, hibernation information, myths and behavior, and lots more.
Related Websites:
2) About Hedgehogs
3) Hedgehogs
4) Hedgehogs from The Garden Safari
5) Hedgehogs
6) Hedgehog Homepage by S. Conrad
7) Hedghogz Home Page
Hedgehogs from BBC
This is a great site for introductory information about hedgehogs.
Related Websites:
2) Hedgehog from African Wildlife Foundation
3) Hedgehog from BBC's Nature Really Gone Wild
4) Hedgehog from Enchanted Learning
5) Hedgehog from Sea World/ Busch Gardens' Animal Bytes
6) Hedgehog Facts from Wild Kids
Hedgehogs from National Geographic
Read some interesting facts, watch a video, listen to their sounds, view the distribution map, and send an e-Card - - all about hedgehogs.
After visiting several of the hedgehog websites, complete one or more of these related activities:
Complete Some Jan Brett Hedgehog Activities. You can find lots of hedgehog projects, activities, and materials at the website of author, Jan Brett. Here are a few to begin with:
1) Color a Hedgehog
2) Coloring Pages with Hedgie
3) Hedgehog Coloring Costumes
4) Hedgehog Crossword Puzzle
5) Hedgehog Wordsearch
6) Make a 3-D Hedgehog
7) Print Out A Hedgehog Bookmark
8) Make a Hedgie (Hedgie Sock Puppet Project)
9) Put Hedgie and Henny Back Together (Scramble game)
Read An Online Hedgehog. Select and read one of the following hedgehog stories:
1) Hans My Hedgehog (Fairy tale by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm)
2) Hare and the Hedgehog from Fables and Fairy Tales
3) Hedgehog and His Bride
4) Hedley Meets Toad by Valerie Walker
5) How Hedgehog Got Her Spiky Fur by Randy Cromwell
6) Wuzzlebeck Hedgehog: Tales of a Young Yorkshire Hedgehog
Write and Publish A Hedgehog Story. Create a story about the life of a hedgehog. Draw and color pictures to illustrate your hedgehog tale. When complete, you may submit your story to Jan Brett at Hedgehog Stories. They could be selected to be added to her website.
Test Your Knowledge About Hedgehogs. See how you do with the Hedgehog Quiz from Jan Brett.
Draw A Hedgehog. Find online instruction using two different techniques at (1) How to Draw a Hedgehog from Jan Brett and (2) Hedgehog Drawing Sheet from BillyBear4Kids.
Complete Some Hedgehog Picture Puzzles. You will find 16 different ones at Hedgehog Puzzles! from Hedgehog Central. Select one or try them all; which one is your favorite? Use the menu on the left side of your puzzle to change shapes and complexity. There is also few different ones at Hedgehog JigSaw Puzzle and Hedgehog Slider Puzzle - - both from BillyBear4Kids.
Complete A Hedgehog WebQuest. Adapt or follow the instructions found at these webQuest sites:
1) Be A Forest Animal Web-site Detective (Grades K-3) by J. Lloyd
2) Hedgehog (Grades K-6) by V. Hodge
3) Hedgehog Hunters Wanted! (Grade 1) by D.B. Fortune
Build A Hedgehog House. Wild hedgehogs do not make great pets, but in countries where hedgehogs exist in the wild - - they are known as a gardener's friend. Provide an ideal place for them to hibernate. Or in spring after they mate, this house can provide a place to give birth and bring up young. Find the plans at Hedgehog House. Those who have pet hedgehogs might be interested in making a Drawstring Hedge Bag.
Websites By Kids For Kids
About Hedgehogs
Students in New Zealand write about hedgehogs.
Related Webpages:
2) Chloe's Hedgehog
3) Hedgehogs
4) Hedgehogs
Hedge Hog by E. Tezcan, Andrew High School, Tinley Park, IL
This site provides general, introductory information about hedgehogs.
More Websites
Arabia's Hedgehogs by P. Bates
Learn about the three species of hedgehog found in Arabia.
Related Websites:
2) Hedgehogs from UAE Interact Online
3) Hedgehogs from Breeding Centre for Endangered Arabian Wildlife
Hedgehog Hollow
Though this site is no longer being updated, its content is the USENET Hedgehog FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions). FAQ 7 parts inform on pet care, rare types, and the hedgehog in the wild.
How to Say Hedgehog in over 40 Languages
Forty . . . if you count Lapine, the language the rabbits speak in the book Watership Down by Richard Adams.
Related Website:
2) About the Hedgehog
International Hedgehog Association (IHA)
This organization was established with the purpose of educating the public in the care and betterment of hedgehogs and to facilitate the rescue, welfare, promotion and care of hedgehogs everywhere.
Other Hedgehog Care Sites:
2) from Carolina Hedgehog Society
3) Hedgehog Valley by A. Means-Burleson
Look Sharp (Page 1 of 2) from BBC
People empathize with these trusting, bumbling animals (hedgehogs) as they shuffle about our modern world, beset by man-made dangers. But can they survive today's threats to their world?
Spike's Den
This interactive site contains lots of good information about hedgehogs including facts, games, quiz, diet, hibernation, medical information, and more.
Welsh Hedgehog Hospital
Here you can find information on pet care, diseases and treatments, hedgehog houses, how to create a hedgehog friendly garden, and a quiz plus photos and more.
Related Websites:
2) Care Rehabilitation and Aid for Sick Hedgehogs (CRASH)
3) Emergency Information: Hedgehogs from St. Tiggywinkles
4) Some Important Advice about Helping Sick or Injured European Hedgehogs
What Happens Inside the Hedgehog During Hibernation? by S. Grethe
This brief article discusses what happens when the outdoor temperature drops and winter commences?
Other Websites on Hedgehog Hibernation:
2) Hedgehog Hibernation Fact Sheet from St. Tiggywinkles . . .
3) Time to Sleep: Hedgehogs from BBC's The Really Wild Zone
Specific Types of Hedgehogs
Hedghogs Around the World
Here you find photos and a brief description of some of the different varieties of hedgehogs.
Related Sites:
2) Guide to Hedgehog Species Around the World
3) Species Location from Hedghogz Home Page
African Pygmy Hedgehog (aka Eastern African hedgehog): (1) Atelerix albiventris: African Pygmy
Hedgehog from University of Michigan's Animal Diversity Web, (2) Introduction to the African Pygmy Hedgehog by H.L. Hoefer, (3) African Pygmy (Four-toed) Hedgehog, (4) African Pygmy Hedgehog (Erinaceus albiventris) from Animal Ambassadors, (5) African White-bellied Hedgehog from Jan Brett, (6) East African Hedgehog (Four-toed) from Oakland Zoo, (7) African Pygmy Hedgehog from Woodland Park Zoo
Cyprus Hedgehog: (1) Cyprus Hedgehog from North Cyprus Home Page, (2) Cyprus Hedgehog
from Wildlife in Northern Cyprus
Common Hedgehog (aka Western European hedgehog or European hedgehog): (1) Hedgehog:
Erinaceus europaeus from The Mammal Society, (2) Erinaceus europaeus: Hedgehog from University of Michigan's Animal Diversity Web, (3) Hedgehogs (Erinaceus Europaeus), (4) Hedgehog from Young Peoples Trust for the Environment, (5) Western European hedgehog from America Zoo, (6) European Hedgehog from Jan Brett, (7) Erinaceus europaeus: European Hedgehog from Boreal Forests, (8) European Hedgehog from Cyberzoo, (9) European Hedgehog: Erinaceus europaeus from BBC Nature Wildfacts, (10) Hedgehogs from UK Safari
Desert Hedgehog (aka Ethiopian hedgehog): (1) Desert or Ethiopian Hedgehog from University of
Michigan's Animal Diversity Web, (2) Desert Hedgehog from Jan Brett, (3) Desert Hedgehog from Living Desert Zoo and Gardenson, (4) Desert Hedgehog from PBS's Sahara Wildlife
Lesser Hedgehog Tenrec (aka Small Madagascar Hedgehog Tenrec): (1) Echinops telfairi: Lesser
Hedgehog Tenrec, Small Madagascar Hedgehog Tenrec from University of Michigan's Animal Diversity Web, (2) Small Madagascar Hedgehog-Tenrec from Smithsonian Institution, (3) Lesser Hedgehog Tenrec from America Zoo
Long-eared Hedgehog: (1) Hemiechinus auritus: Long-Eared Desert Hedgehog from University of
Michigan's Animal Diversity Web, (2) Long-eared Hedgehog from Jan Brett,
Madagascar Hedgehog: (1) Setifer setosus: Madagascar Hedgehog from University of Michigan's
Animal Diversity Web
Websites For Teachers
Hedgehogs, Books, and Fun by P. Hale and J. Bruner at ED's Oasis
Teachers and students will navigate the site to increase their knowledge about hedgehogs. This can be done by reading all the information about hedgehogs, do the wordsearch and crossword puzzle. The book The Hat written and illustrated by Jan Brett is used. There is a 5 day lesson plan that includes a variety of activities to go with this book. There are also additional books and activities that are being submitted by the classrooms participating in the Travel Buddy and Book Exchange Projects. Pictures and journal entries are also available for classrooms to follow as Snuggles and Prickles travel the world.
Related Website:
2) Hedgehog by J. Bruner at Loogootee Elementary West, IN
3) Hedgehog Travel Buddy Project by J. Bruner at Loogootee Elementary West, IN
Hedgehogs in the Classroom from Hedgehog Valley
Learn the pros and cons of keeping a hedgehog in the classroom.
pest control
sharp pointed teeth
creatures of the night
circular muscle
poor eyesight
animal home
"gardener's friend"
sense of smell
spiny coat
musky odor
short neck
keen sense of smell
invasive specie
root in ground
Created by Eleanor Wallace, 4/03. Adapted by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 4/03.