Having Fun in the Hedgehog Habitat

The hedgehog’s distinctive features make it unlikely to be mistaken for any other Irish mammal, it is greyish brown in body colour and covered in thousands of dark brown spines for defense from predators. The spines are composed of sharp hardened hairs, which are white at the base and can reach up to 2cm in length. Adults grow to 27cm in length with a short tail up to 3cm long. They resemble small pigs with no necks, have a barrel shaped rump and long snout. Hedgehogs have very short stumpy legs compared to their body size which give them their distinctive shuffling walk although they can sprint for short distances if necessary. Adult males can weight over 1kg with females generally being lighter averaging 700 grams. Hind foot tracks will have five clawed digits measuring from 4 to 4.5cm in length with the fore foot being similar in shape but 10mm smaller. Hedgehogs have small eyes and are known to have a poor sense of vision, hearing is more acute although they depend on their highly developed sense of smell to find prey and to locate other individuals. They emit numerous snuffles and snorts when feeding and can produce pig like squeals when alarmed